Heavy rains in Andhra claim 12 lives

Hyderabad, Oct 24 (IANS) Heavy rains, lashing many parts of Andhra Pradesh for the last four days, have claimed 12 lives and damaged crops over thousands of hectares, officials said Thursday.

The incessant rains under the impact of low pressure and vigorous northeast monsoon battered south coastal Andhra districts of Prakasam, Guntur and Krishna, inundated low-lying areas and threw normal life out of gear in several other districts in coastal Andhra, Rayalaseema and Telangana.

The rivers and rivulets are in spate while overflowing tanks and streams have inundated hundreds of villages, disrupting the electricity supply, road and rail transport.

Hyderabad also received heavy rains Thursday, flooding low-lying areas and causing long traffic jams.

Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Raghuveera Reddy said 12 people were killed in rain-related incidents.

Prakasam accounted for four deaths while three persons were killed in Hyderabad. Two people died in Guntur and one each in Kurnool, Vizianagaram and West Godavari districts.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who reviewed the situation, directed the officials to be on alert in view of the warning by the met department that rains would continue for the next two days.

He asked the officials to launch relief operations and start relief camps wherever needed. Teams from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are reaching the coastal districts for relief operations.

Over 4,600 people have already been evacuated from low-lying areas in four districts and shifted to 15 relief camps.

The rains also damaged 1,884 houses in nine districts.

Officials said crops over 2.49 lakh hectares were inundated. The damaged crops include paddy (1.07 lakh hectares), cotton (1.31 lakh hectares), redgram and maize. Horticulture crops over 18,166 hectares were also damaged.

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