Amid heavy showers in Hyderabad, the Indian Army, and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on Wednesday joined rescue and relief work on the request of the Telangana government.
The Army took up rescue and relief works in Bandlaguda, one of the worst-affected areas in the old city of Hyderabad, and were seen evacuating people from flood-hit areas as well as seen distributing food packets among them.
#HyderabadRains | Rescue operations were seen being undertaken by the army and NDRF teams at Al-Jubail Colony at #Hyderabad's Falaknuma to help stranded people. #HyderabadFloods @XpressHyderabad pic.twitter.com/GG6xas1qhz— The New Indian Express (@NewIndianXpress) October 14, 2020
Army medical teams have also reached the city to provide essential first-aid and medical assistance to the stranded people, according to a Defence Ministry statement.
Further, NDRF teams are also actively involved in relief operations and have so far rescued 72 people from flood-hit Meerpet area on the city outskirts.
Heavy rains for two straight days have triggered unprecedented floods in the city and suburbs, claiming at least 18 lives so far.
As many as an estimated 1,500 colonies were submerged due to extremely heavy rainfall.
Boats were deployed to rescue people from some inundated areas such as Nadeem Colony in Toli Chowki.
Roads turned into lakes, bringing vehicular traffic to a halt. Vehicles were also stranded on highways to Vijayawada, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Warangal and Srisailam.
Frightening visuals emerged from flooded areas showing floating cars, streets turning into streams and people on rooftops waiting for help.
Overflowing lakes, nalas and even drainages led to severe waterlogging. Hundreds of vehicles were damaged as water filled the cellars of buildings in affected areas.
For a second consecutive night, many areas in the city and suburbs remained without electricity. Longer power outages disrupted mobile and Internet connectivity, causing severe inconveniences to citizens.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) said 1.5 lakh food packets were provided to people in flood-hit areas.
GHMC deployed members of 360 its Disaster Response Force (DRF) and opened 61 relief camps where 684 people have taken shelter.
Spelling more trouble for COVID patients in the city, the floods amid pandemic resulted in residents residing in low-lying areas making SOS calls for rescue as many are currently stuck at home, unable to get out and get access to treatment options.
State ministers K. T. Rama Rao and T. Srinivas Yadav, Greater Hyderabad Mayor Bonthu Rammohan, Deputy Mayor Baba Fasihuddin, Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, city MLAs and corporators visited various affected areas to supervise rescue and relief work.
Earlier, Rama Rao told the State Legislative Council that despite issuing notices people were not vacating dilapidated houses, leading to incidents of house collapse.
He said the municipal authorities would resort to forcible eviction, if necessary, with the help of police.
The minister also held an emergency meeting with officials from Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and other departments to take stock of the situation and announced a two-day holiday for government and private institutions, gauging the severity of the situation.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah said that the situation is being 'closely monitored' by the Ministry of Home Affairs and that the central government is committed to providing all possible assistance to residents in flood-affected Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
(With ENS, agency inputs)