Relief works were being carried out in Andhra Pradesh as Chittoor, Kadapa, and Nellore districts continue to reel under floods.

House in Tiruchanur near Tirupati collapses into river during Andhra floods on November 19, 2021Twitter/DDNewsAndhra
news Andhra Rains 2021 Friday, November 19, 2021 - 14:17

The impact of floods triggered by heavy rains continued in several districts of Andhra Pradesh on Friday, November 19, as low-lying areas in many districts continued to see inundation. Shocking visuals from Tiruchanur near Tirupati showed a two-storey building collapsing due to the impact of incessant rains, and falling into gushing waters of the Swarnamukhi river next to it. The building in Vasundhara Nagar collapsed on Friday morning, according to Tiruchanur police. In Kadapa district’s Rajampet, two buses were stuck near Ramapuram, with over 20 passengers stranded atop the bus, until police and fire department personnel began rescue operations. Another bus was seen almost fully drowned in the waters from the overflowing Cheyyeru stream. Nellore district was also battered by heavy rains. 

At least three people were killed and a few others feared washed away in the flash floods in Kadapa district on Friday. A breach to the Annamayya project bund caused a flash flood in the Cheyyeru rivulet that left some villages along its course inundated, official sources said. A group of unsuspecting devotees, offering prayers in a Siva temple on the occasion of Kartika Pournami, were caught in the sudden flood and washed away in the Rajampet area. Three bodies were later recovered near Nandalur, the sources said, adding efforts were on to trace the remaining persons. 

The Rayalaseema districts of Chittoor and Kadapa have been witnessing a terrible deluge as heavy rains caused breaches to several tanks and kept rivers and rivulets in spate. Nellore district too felt the brunt of the heavy rains. With water flowing heavily into the Somasila dam, the Chief Minister instructed district authorities to take precautions in low-lying areas before releasing the floodwaters. 

NDRF and SDRF teams have swung into action to carry out relief and rescue operations. In the Tirupati division, 41 relief camps were set up to provide relief for 4,489 persons in Tirupati Urban and Rural, Pitchatur, Srikalahasti, Renigunta, Chandragiri, Pulicherla, and KVB Puram mandals. While the exact number of deaths is yet to be ascertained, one person died from a short circuit in the Abbanna colony of the city, Tirupati Urban police said. CM Jagan has instructed officials to provide compensation of Rs 2,000 to each family whose house was inundated, and Rs 5 lakh to persons who lost their lives due to the rains. 

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

The Andhra Pradesh government has appointed special officers to the three rain-affected districts — Kadapa, Chittoor, and Nellore. At a review meeting with the three affected districts’ Collectors on November 19, officials said that in a few places, lakes had been breached, causing flooding. CM Jagan instructed officials to ensure sanitation works are carried out in Tirupati by roping in staff from other departments apart from the municipality and bringing in staff from neighbouring municipalities if needed. 

The unprecedented waterlogging in Tirupati was caused due to burying or flattening of lake beds, officials told the CM. While Tirupati Urban area saw heavy inundation, with roads and highways turning unmotorable, rainfall data from Chittoor district showed that the Tirupati Urban mandal received 100.2 mm rainfall between 8.30 am on November 18 and 6 am on November 19. The IMD classifies rainfall of 64.5 mm to 115.5 mm as heavy rain, while 115.6 mm to 204.4 mm is classified as very heavy rain, and above 204.5 mm is considered extremely heavy rain. Tirupati Rural mandal saw 120.6 mm rainfall in this period, while the highest rainfall in the district was recorded in Peddamandyam mandal (201 mm). 

Read: Flights diverted, sent back as Tirupati rains inundates Renigunta airport

In the Kadapa district, CM Jagan instructed officials to take up repair works wherever lakes were breached and to restore electricity as soon as possible. Officials have been asked to enumerate crop loss estimates once the floods recede. Apart from Kadapa and Chittoor, Anantapur district in Rayalaseema also witnessed incessant rains. 

The heavy rains are a result of the low-pressure area in the Bay of Bengal intensifying into a depression, which crossed north Tamilnadu and the adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Puducherry and Chennai around 3-4 am on November 19. The IMD has also issued a warning for November 19 for heavy rainfall in isolated places of coastal Andhra Pradesh, and heavy to very heavy rainfall in isolated places in Rayalaseema. 

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

With PTI inputs

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