Toll in Andhra rains mounts to 42

Hyderabad, Oct 27 (IANS) The death toll in the incessant rains lashing Andhra Pradesh for the last five days rose to 42 with the authorities Sunday reporting 10 more deaths.

Five people were also missing while crops in about eight lakh hectares were damaged in the floods caused by heavy rains under the impact of low pressure area and northeast monsoon.

Officials said the rains left thousands homeless, inundated hundreds of villages, damaged houses, roads and railway tracks. The loss is estimated to be Rs.1,727 crore.

The deaths in rain-related incidents like wall collapse and drowning were reported from 10 districts.

Guntur district accounted for eight deaths, Nalgonda seven and Prakasam six. Four people were killed in Mahabubnagar and three each in Hyderabad, Kurnool, Vizianagaram, Chittoor and West Godavari districts. Two deaths were reported from Warangal district.

According to disaster management department, 84,769 people have been evacuated to safer places. The authorities opened 225 relief camps. Over 21,000 houses were damaged in 19 districts.

Nineteen teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in various districts for rescue and relief operations.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy reviewed the situation at a meeting with ministers and top officials in Hyderabad Sunday. He directed the officials to take up relief measures on war footing.

He noted that though rains started receding Sunday, they damaged crops over 7.99 lakh hectares. The damaged crops include cotton over 4.07 lakh hectares and paddy 3.48 lakh hectares. Other crops like maize, groundnut, redgram, sugarcane, tobacco and blackgram were also damaged.

The heavy rains caused breaches to 1,020 minor trrigation tanks and damaged roads up to a length of 4,047 kilometers.

The rains cut road links to many villages and disrupted traffic between various cities and towns. The movement of trains was also hit with railway tracks coming under flood water in Nalgonda and Srikakulam districts.

The state government has deployed 580 medical teams to provide aid to the victims.

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