VIJAYAWADA/TIRUPATI: As many as 15 persons died as lightning struck Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore districts in the state Sunday. Moderate to heavy rains lashed many parts of the State.
A 60-year-old woman L Venkata Subbamma of Ganugapenta village in Tarlupadu mandal of Prakasam district went to work in her fields with her daughter-in-law L Venkataramana (30) to work. They were struck by lightning and died on the spot.
G Sathish, a 26-year-old borewell mechanic was working on an agriculture borewell in the farm at Vemulakota village of Markapur mandal in Prakasam district when lightning struck him. He died instantaneously.
Lightning also claimed the lives of Chinnababu at Dondapadu village in Narasaraopeta mandal, Sivaram Babu of Vadlamanu village in Thullur mandal and another person in Chebrolu mandal of Guntur district. Two more persons Giri and G Jangulu of Reddigudem mandal and a woman in Kruthivennu mandal in Krishna district died as lightning struck.
Women cricket players from Andhra and Tripura had a providential escape at Perecherla Cricket Ground near Guntur. As it starting raining heavily, the players rushed to the dressing room and as soon as they left the ground a palm tree on the boundary of the ground where they were playing was struck by lightning and went up in flames. Craters were formed on the ground under the impact of the lightning. Meanwhile, six persons were struck dead by lightning as heavy rain lashed Nellore district. One person also died in a wall- collapse in Nellore City. Meanwhile, strong winds that lashed Chittoor district damaged a banana orchard in Ramasamudram village of Kuppam constituency, causing a loss of `5 lakh to its owner.
According to information reaching here, those who died in lightining strike were identified as P Venkateswarlu (34) and his son P.Kumar (9), both watchmen, of Poodiparthi village in Venkatachalam mandal, Ragi Prasad (46) of Kondra Bitragunta village in Bogolu mandal, K China Venkaiah (48) of Talamanchi village in Kodavaluru mandal, B Venkataiah (52) of North Kondayapalem village in Varikuntapadu mandal and an unidentified person in Kondapuram mandal.
Meanwhile, P Venkaiah of Saptagiri Colony of Nellore city was crushed to death as the wall under which he was sitting collapsed due to heavy rain.
According to a report from Anantapur, Parvathi (40) was struck dead by lightning when she was working in a farm in Siddapalli village of Bellary mandal of Karnataka state. The deceased was a native of Kadaluru village of D Hirehal mandal of that state.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who arrived at his new residence on the banks of Krishna at Undavalli in Guntur district, held a review meeting with the district collectors over heavy rain and rain-related deaths.
In view of the low pressure area formed in the Bay of Bengal, the CM directed the collectors and officials concerned to be on the alert.
Condoling the deaths in the rain-related incidents, he announced `4 lakh as ex gratia to family members of those who died due to lightning. The announcement of ex gratia was as per the decision taken in the recent Cabinet meeting.