RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM: Third warning is likely to be issued for five districts on Thursday as the water level at the Dowleswaram barrage rapidly rose to touch the 16-feet mark on Wednesday. The situation remains grim as the barrage continued to receive incessant and heavy inflows. The third warning would be issued when the water level rises to 17.50 feet.
Officials at the AP State Disaster Management Authority, monitoring the situation, said the inflow and outflow at the barrage stood at 15.07 lakh cusecs. They have alerted the district collectors of the twin Godavari districts, Eluru, Alluri Sitarama Raju, Dr BR Ambekar Konaseema districts.
In Konaseema, about 1.51 lakh people of 51 villages in 18 mandals have been hit by the flood. As a precautionary measure, health workers and revenue officials shifted 338 pregnant women from the submergence villages to nearby primary healthcare centres. As many as 650 swimmers and 403 boats have been deployed.
Dowleswaram barrage flood conservator Kasi Visveswara Rao told The New Indian Express that there was a possibility of water levels swelling further and reaching 63 feet at Bhadrachalam in the neighbouring Telangana.
He said sandbags have been kept ready at four to five weak points on the Godavari bund in the twin districts to plug any possible breaches. "We have alerted the district administrations of Konaseema and Godavari districts regarding the possibility of heavy inflows. As it is a full moon day, tidal waves are high, preventing the smooth flow of flood water into the sea," he noted.
Five teams each of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and SDRF teams were deployed in the twin districts for rescue operations. "Once the flood-level touches 64 feet at Bhadrachalam, the villages in Chintur would be severely affected. We have asked people there to move to safer places," Chintur police inspector Appala Naidu said.
Meanwhile, villagers staged a dharna in front of Chintur ITDA demanding ration and shelter amid heavy rains.
In VR Puram mandal, people from the marooned villages of Vaddigudem, Sriramagiri, Mulakapalli, Ippuru, Kannaigudem and Tustivarigudem vacated their houses and pitched tents at the Sriramagiri hill shrine.
People living at Santhapakalu and Sabari Bank Colony in ASR district were caught in the floods as water level increased to 42 feet in Sabari river. Nearly 300 families were affected and power supply to four mandals in the district was disrupted.
In Chintur, the ASR district Collector Sumit Kumar monitored the situation and the distribution of ration to flood-affected people.He said NDRF teams have taken up rescue operations in the submerged villages. He toured the villages and oversaw the evacuation of elderly people, children and pregnant women.
In Eluru district, people from 24 villages in Velerupadu and Kukkunur mandals were evacuated, district collector Prasanna Venkatesh said.The Kukkunur -Bhadrachalam road was inundated. East Godavari district Dr K Madhavi Latha visited Mulakalanka and Bobbilanka island near Rajamahendravaram and urged villagers to immediately shift to the rehabilitation centres.
In Kovvur, Goshapada bathing ghat was closed as it remained submerged and floodwaters entered the temple complex. Security was beefed up at all bathing ghats in Rajamahendravaram. At Puskara Ghat, the Akhanda Nitya Harathi platform was submerged.
Dial for assistance
37 Konaseema schools closed
Konaseema district admin has announced holiday for students of 37 schools that are being used as rehabilitation centres for the flood-affected people