Flood situation grim

Flood situation grim
Highlights

* 150 villages marooned * Choppers begin relief and rescue work * Heavy rain forecast for T & Coastal...

* 150 villages marooned * Choppers begin relief and rescue work * Heavy rain forecast for T & Coastal Andhra * Godavari level at Bhadrachalam receding * 74 relief camps set up * Toll rises to 11

Hyderabad: Despite some let-up in rain in north Telangana, flood situation remained grim on Saturday in the lower reaches of Godavari river, especially at Dhowleswaram barrage, posing serious threat to the low-lying areas of Konaseema as the death toll in rain-related incident rose to 11 in the State. The water level in Godavari crossed the 15-metre mark at Dhowleswaram near Rajahmundry where some 16 lakh cusecs of water was being let off into the Bay of Bengal.

More than 150 villages have been marooned forcing eviction of people to safer areas. Relief camps have been set up in six affected districts including Khammam, East Godavari and West Godavari. Choppers have already been pressed into service for rescue and relief measures. They started airdropping food packets and water satchels at different relief camps. The Met office predicted heavy rains in the next 48 hours in Telangana and Coastal Andhra due to a low pressure area formed over north-west Bay of Bengal off Orissa coast. The rain-related death toll was put at 11 -- four in Karimnagar; two in Khammam; one each in Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Warangal, Medak and Adilabad districts. The Godavari level at Bhadrachalam in Khammam district has started receding. On Saturday, it stood at 56.6 feet as streams and rivulets continued to receive huge inflows from upstream.

With several low-lying areas in and around the temple town inundated, the official machinery remained on high alert as the river was still flowing above the third warning level of 53 feet. Three helicopters of Indian Air Force (IAF) have been pressed into service to supply food, water packets and medicines to the stranded people in Bhadrachalam and Mancherial.

Another three choppers have been kept stand by and they will be deployed if required. Two NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) teams have been positioned at Bhadrachalam. NDRF teams have been deployed one each in East Godavari, West Godavari, Karimnagar, Adilabad and Warangal districts to help the officials in rescue operations. So far 74 relief camps have been opened and 13,000 people rehabilitated in the 222 rain-hit villages. According to officials, incessant rains had damaged 2,885 houses � 316 badly, 534 severely and 2,035 partially.

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy who reviewed the flood situation with officials in Hyderabad directed the government personnel of all departments concerned to continue the operations on a war footing and told them to ensure that relief reached every needy person. He wanted adequate field staff kept ready. The Chief Minister directed the APTtransco to restore power in the areas where power supply was disrupted due to rains and floods. The Municipal Administration and Urban Development and Rural Water Supply departments were asked to take care of drinking water supply in the flood-hit areas.

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