Elders’ wisdom proved wrong

Floodwaters ravaged 40 houses in a hamet of 50; 3 people washed away, 2 still missing

Published: 26th November 2021 08:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th November 2021 08:00 AM   |  A+A-

Flash floods in the Cheyyeru river catchment area destroyed houses and displaced many homes in Thoguru Peta of Nandaluru, Rajampeta Mandal of Kadapa district. (Photo | Express)

Express News Service

THOGURPETA (KADAPA): For once, experience betrayed the elders of Thogurpeta village. They never expected a savage flood to hit the village, since never in their life had they experienced such a fury. Jaganadhamaiah was one among them. The 89-year-old sat patiently under the shade, beside the partially collapsed wall of his bathroom on Thursday, waiting for the officials to estimate his loss. “The floods have never affected us in the past 100 years, not even in 2020. It had then reached up to our backyard, but spared the house,” he recalled.

A short pause later, he added: “Even our forefathers had never told us about the Cheyyeru river causing such devastating floods. The flood has destroyed 90 per cent of our village.” The floodwaters have destroyed around 40 houses in Thogurpeta, a hamlet of 50-odd houses. Three people were washed away, and two of them were still missing at the time of filing this report.The villagers could not save much of their belongings before the floodwaters gushed in. They discarded the warnings issued before water from the overflowing Pincha project dam breached the Annamayya project downstream late on November 18. 

Villagers said that they trusted the wisdom of their elders, who asserted that the floodwaters would spare the village without causing much damage. A little after 2 am, the situation changed.“We didn’t move to safer grounds since we believed the elders. Around 2 am on Friday last, we received a call from a relative, who told us that the Annamayya dam has been breached and the water would soon inundate our village,” a villager told TNIE.

“The phone signals in our village are weak and hence we had to alert others orally. By then, the floodwaters have reached the village,” the villager added.Jayaram Reddy was not even warned of the water gushing towards the village. He was fast asleep in his house when the water swept him away. His body was later found in a field. 

Several villagers claimed that they never received an official warning. Those who were warned, managed to pick up whatever they could save, and fled through the darkness to the forests. The village had received a record Kharif harvest this time and many had stocked at least 50 to 100 paddy bags in their houses, which were washed away by the floods.“This time the harvest was good, but we were not destined to eat what we have cultivated,” another villager rued. 


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