Around 50 people, who were trapped, were rescued in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam district after flood water gushed into a sand reach near Purushothapuram village, as water was released from Gotta Barrage, situated on Vamsadhara River.
The incident took place at Sarubujjili Mandal in the early hours of Monday at around 1:30 am.
The workers reportedly crossed a ramp and went to the sand reach for work, but soon found themselves stranded, as gushing water had submerged the ramp completely. The workers included both men and women.
On being notified of the incident, personnel of the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Response and Fire Services Department rushed to the spot and rescued the victims.
Revenue officials and District Joint Collector KVN Chakradhar Babu also visited the spot and oversaw rescue operations.
Speaking to TV9, Chakradhar said, "The police and Revenue Department had already warned the locals that 30,000 cusecs of water was going to be released. We had ensured that the announcement was repeated throughout the day."
"The locals, therefore, stayed away. This group of workers came to the area at around 10:30 pm from Visakhapatnam district to take sand. By around 1:30 am, the water level had increased massively. They climbed on top of the lorries and JCB machines that were parked there and shouted for help. Immediately, we came to the spot and began rescue operations," he added.
The Joint Collector also said that they had contemplated deploying naval helicopters from Visakhapatnam or roping in a team from the National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF).
Visuals showed the workers at a distance of roughly 600 to 700 metres, on a patch of land, stranded between fast-moving water. Officials then deployed life jackets and inflatable boats to rescue the stranded workers. They made several trips, picking up as many people as they could before returning to safe ground.
All those who were trapped were rescued, with authorities saying that there were zero injuries reported.
Officials said that some livestock, including 20 sheep, were also brought to safe ground in the rescue operation.
They also said that there was no requirement for any additional deployment.
The Vamsadhara river has been receiving huge inflows from Odishaâ€™s catchment area, due to which district officials have been on high alert.
An emergency number, 08942-240557, has also been set up at the Control Room in the districtâ€™s headquarters.
Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that heavy rain was very likely to occur at isolated places the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur.
Andhra Pradesh: State Disaster Response Force and fire department team rescue 55 people who were trapped in flood water following release of water from Vamsadhra river Gotta Barrage, in Srikakulam. pic.twitter.com/VfGhpZjvCrâ€” ANI (@ANI) July 16, 2018