RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM/VIJAYAWADA: High alert was issued for 524 villages in 42 mandals spread across the twin Godavari districts, Kakinada, Eluru, Alluri Sitarama Raju (ASR) and Dr BR Ambedkar Konaseema districts on Thursday. Third warning signal could be issued any time.
At 9:00 pm, the discharge levels were at 17.07 lakh cusecs. Officials opined that at this rate the flood levels might cross 25 lakh cusecs by Saturday morning. Following torrential rains in the upper catchment areas, the water-level at Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage is expected to cross 21.5 feet in the next 48 hours.
At Polavaram project spillway, floodwater levels touched 35 metres. The outflow from the project stood at over 16 lakh cusecs.
With floodwater at Bhadrachalam increasing by the minute, inflows to Polavaram, and thereafter to Dowaleswaram are expected to rise rapidly. Besides the Agency areas in the Godavari Delta, Konaseema district is likely to face the flood fury.
As many as 51 river islets (lanka villages) in Konaseema were affected, whereas in Eluru, Koida and Koraturu villages of Velurupadu mandal were cut off.
Responding to Eluru district Collector Prasanna Venkatesh's request for rescue and relief operations, the Indian Navy deployed two medium-lift UH-3H helicopters from INS Dega at Visakhapatnam.
The choppers provided humanitarian assistance to the waterlogged areas at Koida (7 habitations) and Katkur (9 habitations) in Velarupadu mandal. Relief materials, including food items, medicines, milk and bread, were air-dropped to the marooned villagers.
Over 2,000 kg of relief materials were delivered by the helicopters that were operating from the Rajamahendravaram airport. The relief operation would continue on Friday. According to the AP State Disaster Management Authority, nearly 100 relief camps have been set up in the flood-hit districts.
Dowleswaram barrage engineers said the flood would severely affect 20 mandals in Konaseema district, eight in East Godavari, five in ASR, four in West Godavari, three in Eluru and two in Kakinada.
In Eluru, the district adminstration evacuated nearly 5,500 persons belonging to 1,700 families from Velerupadu, Kukkunuru and Polavaram mandals to rehabilitation centres.
In Rampachodavaram Agency region of ASR district, people in the flood-affected villages found shelter on nearby hillocks. District Collector Sumit Kumar visited the remote villages. As many as 36,231 people were shifted to 54 rehabilitation centres.
Meanwhile, tribesmen of Tallur, Kanthanur and Kothagudem refused to move to rehabilitation centres. Instead, they pitched tents on the hillocks, saying they would not move until they received compensation and land. Yetapaka police station was submerged under knee-deep floodwater.
West Godavari Collector P Prasanti said the floods would affect 13,694 people in 13 villages and three mandals.
Pedamallanka, Anagarilanka, Pallipalem, Ayodhyalanka, Putchalanka, Marrimula, Nakkidilanka and Kapulapalem in Achanta mandal, Kottanavarasapuram, Pata Navarasapuram colonies in Narasapuram mandal, Kanakayalanka, Pedalanka, and Badavalanka in Yelamanchili mandal would be severely affected once more water is discharged at Dowleswaram barrage.