Godavari districts in AP still flooded

Hundreds of villages in East Godavari and West Godavari districts remained inundated yesterday though flood water was receding and life was limping back to normal in other affected districts of coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Remote villages, including tribal hamlets, in the two Godavari districts remained cut off from rest of the state. Without food and drinking water for the last couple of days, people were still waiting for relief to reach them.

knee-deep in trouble: Residents wade through flood waters in Visakhapatnam in the coastal district of Andhra Pradesh. The heavy rains for nearly a week claimed 25 lives and rendered thousands of people homeless. Pic/AFP

Officials said they were making efforts to provide relief to the marooned villages in the worst-hit districts. With water levels receding in the swollen rivulets, overflowing reservoirs and tanks, the extent of devastation is becoming evident.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy yesterday visited flood-hit areas in Krishna, Khammam and West Godavari districts. He assured the victims all help, especially to farmers whose standing crops have been destroyed.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday called Reddy with an offer of help from the central government for flood-affected areas of the state.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said that Manmohan Singh also extended his sympathies to those who have lost dear ones in Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari and Krishna districts.

The heavy rains for nearly a week claimed 25 lives and rendered thousands of people homeless. Villages and towns in eight districts were inundated. About 70,000 people were sheltered in relief camps. The floods damaged crops over five lakh hectares, roads and railway tracks.

Several colonies in Vijayawada city in Krishna district remained under water. A similar situation is prevailing in Kakinada town of East Godavari district.

In East and West Godavari districts, famous as the rice bowl of the state, standing paddy and cotton crops over seven lakh acres were damaged. Officials said the exact extent of damage would be known only after a detailed enumeration at the field level.

Leader of Opposition in the state assembly and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N Chandrababu Naidu demanded that the destruction caused by the cyclone be declared a national disaster. He said the government failed to take timely action to prevent losses.

Tremors in Himachal
Tremors of an earthquake of light intensity hit Himachal Pradesh yesterday, triggering panic. No loss of life or damage to property has been reported.

“Tremors of an earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale were felt for some seconds at 5.51 pm,” state Meteorological Office director Manmohan Singh said. He said the epicentre was on the border of Chamba and Kangra, near Jammu and Kashmir.

Last month, the hill state was twice hit by earthquakes of light intensity. The epicentre of both the quakes was on the border of Chamba and Lahaul and Spiti districts.

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