The heavy downpour also led to flooding at the Sri Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala, which has now been closed for devotees.

The Renigunta airport in Tirupati was flooded due to heavy rains
news Tirupati floods Friday, November 19, 2021 - 08:53

Heavy rains wreaked havoc in Tirupati on Thursday, inundating low-lying areas, disrupting vehicular and air traffic and plunging the temple town into darkness. Renigunta Airport was inundated, forcing the authorities to divert the flights. Hyderabad-Tirupati IndiGo flight was diverted to Bengaluru. The Hyderabad-Tirupati Air India and SpiceJet flights had to return to Hyderabad. Airport Director S Suresh said two passenger flights scheduled to land in Tirupati from Hyderabad and Bengaluru were asked to return. A scheduled flight from New Delhi has been cancelled due to the prevailing weather condition, he added.

The downpour caused severe hardships to devotees as the landslides forced the authorities to close roads leading to the Sri Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala. There was no electricity supply in the town since 3 pm after rain water entered a sub-station. Roads in several key areas of the town turned into cesspools due to incessant rains under the impact of northeast monsoon, which is active in Chittoor and Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh and adjoining coastal districts of Tamil Nadu. Vehicular traffic came to a halt in usually busy areas like Gandhi Road, Tilak Road, AIR Bypass Road, Lakshmipuram, Leela Mahal and West Church Railway Under Bridge. Some residential colonies were also flooded, causing severe hardships to the residents.

Alipiri footpath to Tirumala temple was flooded with water gushing down from the hills. Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the affairs of the famous temple, had already announced closure of Alipiri and Srivari Mettu for two days in view of heavy rains forecast. Rains also affected the Vaikuntam Queue complex at Tirumala. Water entered into the cellar of the complex. The house of TTD Additional Executive Dharma Reddy's house was also inundated.

Read: Havoc in Tirupati as heavy rains flood many areas, submerge vehicles

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams officials made arrangements for free food and accommodation for the pilgrims stranded on the holy hills. As of the morning of Friday, November 19, TTD officials told TNM that while water was being pumped out, the temple remains closed for devotees due to landslides and boulders falling on the ghat roads.

Other parts of Chittoor district also received heavy rainfall. Rivulets, streams, reservoirs and lakes were overflowing in the district. Authorities have declared a holiday for all educational institutions in Chittoor district on Friday.

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

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy spoke to Chittoor District Collector M Hari Narayanan and reviewed the situation. Jagan asked the Collector to closely monitor the water levels and take required steps accordingly, a CMO release said. Relief camps should be opened wherever necessary and people from vulnerable areas shifted on need, the CM added.

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

“Deploy NDRF and SDRF teams and carry out rescue and relief operations. All the line departments should remain on alert and take required action as per the situation,” the Chief Minister said.

With IANS and PTI inputs

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