All 70 gates of the Prakasam Barrage that lies across the Krishna river in Vijayawada were opened on Tuesday, after it witnessed heavy inflow from upstream. As a precautionary measure, an alert has been sounded in Krishna and Guntur districts and officials identified and evacuated people in low-lying areas along the course of the river downstream.
Officials said that the inflow of water into the barrage, from the Pulichintala reservoir located upstream, was more than 4.5 lakh cusecs.
Speaking to TNIE, Krishna delta executive engineer A Raja Swaroop Kumar said, "As a precautionary measure, we have lifted all the 70 gates to release water at 25,000 cusecs initially and the same was increased to 1.5 lakh cusecs by evening and it might cross 2 lakh cusecs by night and it will increase further subsequently.”
The Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority has also positioned rescue teams in several mandals of Krishna and Guntur district and is equipped to handle any untoward incident. Officials said that personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were stationed in Vijayawada and Guntur.
Meanwhile, control rooms have been opened in the Sub-Collector's office in Vijayawada and also at the headquarters of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC).
Just earlier this week, with the water levels rising in the Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers, several villages in Kurnool and Guntur districts located along the course of the rivers were put on flood alert.
With the Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers being diverted to Srisailam, water is being released to Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir from the Srisailam dam. On Monday, all 26 crest gates of Nagarjuna Sagar Project were lifted, reportedly, for the first time in a decade.
Following this, all 33 gates of the Tungabhadra dam were also lifted, releasing over 2.12 lakh cusecs of water into the river.
Meanwhile, heavy rains are expected to lash coastal Andhra on Wednesday, with the India Meteorological Department stating that showers are expected in isolated places in the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and West Godavari.