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Andhra Pradesh rains: Nellore reels under Penna fury

Rain toll increases to 35; Tirupati on edge as Rayalacheruvu breach likely; people of 18 villages evacuated.

Published: 22nd November 2021 08:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd November 2021 12:11 PM   |  A+A-

People from low-lying areas shifting to relief camps in Kovur town in Nellore district on Sunday.. (Photo | Express)

By Express News Service

NELLORE/VIJAYAWADA: The heavy rains that triggered floods in Rayalaseema and Nellore continue to wreak havoc with Nellore city and its suburbs still under a sheet of water. The possibility of breach of the ancient Rayalacheruvu in Chittoor district has kept officials on their toes. The death toll in the devastation climbed to 35 with the recovery of four more bodies in Cheyyeru deluge. Two siblings in Kadapa and a polytechnic student in Nellore met watery grave.

ALSO READPower supply yet to be restored to 98 flood-hit villages in Nellore, Chittoor

Road and rail connectivity to Chennai and further south got snapped with the Penna river floods causing severe damage to highways and railway tracks in Nellore district. The Vijayawada-Chennai grand trunk section’s rail route and the NH-16 between Chennai and Kolkata are vital routes as they connect the south and the east. 

As the Penna floodwater overflowed on the railway tracks, a large portion of the track between Nellore and Padugupadu stations was damaged. The South Central Railway cancelled or diverted several express trains connecting the south to the west India due to damage of tracks in Vijayawada division and in Rajampet-Nandalur section of Guntakal division. Hundreds of vehicles got stranded on the Chennai-Kolkata national highway and they were diverted via alternative routes to reach their destinations.In Nellore district, Penna water entered several low-lying areas in Nellore city and its suburbs, including a few villages in Atmakur and Nellore revenue divisions. 

A bridge on River Papagni collapses at Kamalapuram on Sunday due to flood fury, disrupting vehicular traffic between Kadapa and Anantapur districts | Express

Thousands of houses were flooded with the release of surplus water from Nellore barrage. However, inflow of water from upstream Somasila project started receding.Gopi (16) of Bodegadithota, who went to Venkateswarapuram polytechnic close to Nellore city, was stuck in flood water that engulfed the college on Saturday. The entire ground floor of the college was submerged. Gopi met a watery grave, while another student could come out of the college safely. Gopi’s body was retrieved on Sunday.

According to official data, 4,275 people were shifted to 92 relief camps in Nellore district. More than 30 villages adjacent to Penna are still inundated. Power supply is yet to be restored to these villages even 30 hours after outage.  People living on Nellore city outskirts close to Penna, have been facing severe hardship to get essentials as roads are still marooned.

ALSO READ: Monitor relief works in districts, Jagan tells Ministers, MLAs 

In Kadapa, rescue teams retrieved the bodies of four persons who were washed away in the deluge caused by the breach of earthen bund of Annamayya project on Cheyyeru. The floods engulfed at least half-a-dozen villages and swept away nearly 26 people. Some of the missing are yet to be traced.  In another incident in the district, two siblings were washed away in Mandavya.

A bridge on Papagni river connecting Kamalapuram and Valluru in the district collapsed. A portion of the bridge started to cave in late Saturday night. Police personnel were deployed to ensure that no vehicles moved on it. The bridge collapsed late in the night, but luckily there was no loss of life. 
The Chittoor district administration sounded an alert in villages downstream of the 500-year-old Rayalacheruvu in Rayalacheruvu mandal on the outskirts of Tirupati, which got filled to the brim. 

The tank developed minor leaks creating panic among people living in the downstream. Any breach of the tank is likely to affect at least 100 villages. As a precautionary measure, people of 18 villages have been evacuated. Tirupati Urban SP Ch Venkata Appala Naidu said two NDRF and SDRF teams were deployed for relief and rescue operations. “We will take the help of Indian Air Force, if needed, to evacuate people,” the SP said.

IIT experts to examine bridge  

The 550 metre bridge on Papagni connecting Kamalapuram and Valluru was constructed 40 years ago. IIT experts are likely to examine the bridge and suggest whether it needs to be rebuilt

44,275 shifted to relief camps, more rains likely in coastal AP

  •  A woman and her 2-year-old daughter were rescued from a collapsed building in Kadapa
  •  As many as 44,275 rain affected people were shifted to 92 relief camps in Nellore district
  •  More than 30 villages adjacent to Penna were flooded following heavy inflows into the river
  •  About 200 metres of NH-16 between Kolkata and Chennai was badly damaged near Kovur 
  •  A large portion of the railway track between Nellore and Padugupadu stations in the Chennai-Vijayawada section was badly damaged
  •  The SCR cancelled 17 express trains on the Vijayawada-Chennai route due to track damage
  •  The TTD restored vehicular movement on two Tirumala ghat roads after clearing boulders 


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