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Rains, flood kill 29 in Andhra, 16 in Odisha, throw Kolkata out of gear

The rain and flood-battered southern state is unlikely to get respite anytime soon as the Met department on Saturday forecast heavy downpour in the next 48 hours. The government has set up 178 relief camps in nine districts, including 36 in Srikakulam. Hundreds of villages across Andhra Pradesh remained submerged, while road and rail routes were affected as the rain fury continued on Friday.

River Krishna was in spate following which 3.15 lakh cusecs of water is being discharged into Bay of Bengal from Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada. Vast stretches of Vijayawada-Hyderabad Highway were submerged in floodwaters, leading to traffic diversion. Rail track at Bommayipalli on the Secunderabad-Guntur section was damaged and repairs were being carried out. All important trains on this route are being diverted via Warangal and Vijayawada, official sources said. The East Coast Railway has cancelled Bhubaneswar-Bengaluru Prasanthi Express and Bhubaneswar-Visakhapatnam Express trains due to heavy rains. The Puri-Tirupati Express and Coromandel Express also stands cancelled, they said. A dozen teams of National Disaster Response Force are carrying out relief operations in Srikakulam, Guntur, West Godavari, Nalgonda, Prakasam and Mahbubnagar, they added.

Vehicular traffic has been thrown out of gear as 900 km road stretch has been marooned. As many as 117 minor irrigation tanks were damaged in the rain-ravaged districts. Tens of village tanks have suffered breaches inundating settlements.

Meanwhile, with Kolkata receiving over 100 mm of rain between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation is working round the clock to provide rescue and relief operations to the stranded and the hapless. The chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, has urged the concerned departments of the government to work overtime to handle the crisis on Saturday. The incessant downpur has claimed the life of a person and injured a few others. Heavy downpour has also affected train and other transport services in the two Parganas, Howrah, Purba Midnapore and the lower parts of the Damodar valley. Some long distant trains have been cancelled by the South Eastern Railway as a result of the heavy downpour.

Persistent rains for the last 24 hours have thrown normal life out of gear with reports of water logging in the major arterial roads of the city. The mayor of Kolkata, Sovon Chatterjee, however, assured that all pumping stations were at work and city life would become normal within the next 24 hours.

Suburban train services in Sealdah were affected due to water logging on the tracks. Operations in the Howrah division remained unaffected, Eastern Railway sources said. The Met office predicted more rains, caused due to a depression off the Andhra coast over the Bay of Bengal, which would continue for at least next 24 hours.

City commuters faced difficulty in reaching their destination due to scarcity of public transport and had to wade through knee-deep water in certain areas.

In Odisha, at least 16 people have died in flood-related incidents where the situation remained grim even as major rivers were receding on Saturday.

Two deaths each were reported from Bhadrak, Jajpur and Nayagarh districts while in worst-hit Ganjam district it remained unchanged at six and four in Jagatsinghpur, special relief commissioner PK Mohapatra told reporters here after the situation was reviewed by chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

‘All the deaths were due to wall collapse and drowning,’ Mohapatra said. ‘Major rivers like Rusikulya, Godahada and Vansadhara were flowing below the danger mark,’ he added. The chief minister said that the incessant rains and floods have caused severe damage to public and private property and standing crop.

-With Agency inputs
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