While two buses were stranded above the water, one bus, plying on Rajampet-Nandalur route, was almost entirely submerged.

APSRTC bus submerged during Andhra flash floods, 30 passengers travelling in RTC buses washed away, 12 dead
news Andhra Rains 2021 Friday, November 19, 2021 - 21:11

At least 12 people lost their lives and 18 others went missing after three buses of Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) were stuck in floods triggered by heavy rains in Kadapa district on Friday, November 19. Rescue workers pulled out 12 bodies and were searching for the missing people in the Rajampet area. The buses were stuck in flood waters in Mandpalle, Akepadu and Nandalur villages. The passengers along with drivers and conductors had climbed on the top of the buses. While some were rescued by the local residents, 30 people were feared washed away.

Three bodies were recovered from an RTC bus near Nandalur. Seven bodies were found in Gundluru while three bodies were pulled from Rayavaram areas. The buses were stranded as the Cheyyeru stream overflowed, after receiving huge inflows from the Annamayya irrigation project where a bund was breached, causing flash floods and inundating many villages including Gundluru, Seshamambapuram and Mandpalle around Nandalur, Rajampet and other areas. While two buses were stranded above the water, one bus, plying on Rajampet-Nandalur route, was almost entirely submerged. 

In another incident, 10 people stranded in the Chitravathi river at Veldurthi village in Chennekothapalli mandal of Anantapur district were airlifted with an Indian Air Force chopper. Police said personnel from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Revenue, Fire Service and swimmers also participated in the rescue operation.

With the Penna river in spate, two youngsters of Sasanakota village of Anantapur district who were stranded were rescued by the police with the help of fire department personnel and local residents. 

Heavy rains lashed Nellore, Chittoor, Kadapa and Anantapur districts on Friday under the influence of depression which crossed north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Puducherry and Chennai in the early hours of Friday. Low-lying areas in the three districts were inundated while rivulets, streams, tanks and reservoirs were overflowing.

The massive downpour has paralysed normal life. Authorities have declared a holiday for all educational institutions in the affected districts. The state government has appointed three special officers to monitor rescue and relief operations in Nellore, Chittoor and Kadapa district. Several areas of the temple town of Tirupati also remained flooded on Friday. Heavy rains since Thursday wreaked havoc in the town.

Read: Video: House in Tirupati washed away in flood as parts of Andhra reel under rains

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy will conduct an aerial survey of the flood affected areas on Saturday. The Chief Minister will cover areas affected by heavy rains including Kadapa, Chittoor and Nellore, after reviewing the rain situation with the respective district collectors. He will leave for Kadapa directly from Gannavaram Airport at Vijayawada for surveying the flood affected areas by helicopter and return from Renigunta Airport at Tirupati.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on phone and enquired about the situation in the state. CM Jagan reportedly explained the high intensity situation in  Nellore, Anantapur, Kadapa and Chittoor districts  due to the heavy rains and the steps being taken by the government. 

Read: Tirumala temple shut for devotees as flood causes landslides on ghats

With IANS inputs

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