Several areas in Tirupati were inundated after heavy rains lashed Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district, causing massive flooding in many areas on Thursday, November 18. Water levels in and around several areas of Tirupati, Tirumala and the rest of the district, including Madhura Nagar, Gollavani Gunta, Lakshmipuram, Air Bypass road, Chandragiri town and the Kapila Theertham temple at the foot of the Tirumala hills have increased to a level where it has threatened to enter houses leaving residents worried. Traffic too has been disrupted due to floods.
Visuals showed auto rickshaws and parked two wheelers being swept away by the water that had flooded the streets. Another video showed a bus almost fully submerged, stuck in an underpass in the city. The Tirumala Ghat road has also seen massive flooding, and there have reportedly been landslides and several trees have been uprooted. Another visual showed water gushing from the hill into the Kapileswara Swamy Temple at the foot of Tirumala Hills. Another video showed a man being washed away on the Tirumala Ghat road.
The heavy rains are a result of the low pressure area in the Bay of Bengal intensifying into a depression. Heavy rains had been predicted in the city owing to this, and the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) had earlier shut two pedestrian routes to the Venkateswara temple in Tirumala for two days (November 17 and 18) in view of the heavy rain alert.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy held a review meeting with the Deputy Commissioners of Nellore, Chittoor and Kadapa in the wake of heavy rains. He instructed them to inspect water levels in reservoirs and lakes regularly and take measures accordingly. He also spoke to the Chittoor Deputy Commissioner and gave instructions to arrange relief shelters with proper facilities, and to give Rs 1,000 as relief amount to those staying in relief shelters.
Speaking to media personnel, Chittoor Deputy Commissioner M Hari Narayanan said, “As per Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management (APSDMA) alert, on Thursday and Saturday, heavy rains are expected in the district. Mandal teams and municipal teams have been alerted. Mainly, this year, excess rainfall was recorded in the district. All rivers and lakes are filled. The Chief Minister has given directions to take precautions in those areas. Accordingly, in all mandals, near rivers and ponds, officials have been alerted to avoid human loss.”
“I request people to avoid any causeways or bridges where water levels are high. Such attempts have led to deaths in recent times. In such places, revenue and police officials have identified such places and placed pickets to avoid people from crossing them,” he added.
Four relief camps have been arranged and around 300 people have been shifted to the camps. Fire and police department personnel and NDRF, SDRF teams have also been placed on standby to evacuate people from inundated localities if needed, according to the Deputy Commissioner. He has also declared a two-day holiday for schools and colleges in the district for Thursday and Friday.
Tirupati Urban SP Ch Venkatappala Naidu stated that in case of emergency, people can dial 100, or reach out to the police on WhatsApp at 8099999977, or contact the Police Control Room at 6309913960.