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Depression causes rain; crops in over 3.2 lakh ha affected

Special Correspondent

— PHOTOs: G.N.Rao and Kommuri Srinivas

Another blow:A farmer examining the paddy submerged in rainwater at Kothagudem in Khammam district on Tuesday. (Right) Vehicles wading dangerously through the flooded Madiralapadu low-level causeway between Ongole and Chirala.


HYDERABAD: Heavy rain in the wake of depression in the Bay of Bengal has left the districts of Nellore, Prakasam, East Godavari, Guntur and Srikakulam in misery again by inundating crops over a large extent of 3.2 lakh hectares and damaging a number of tanks and roads.

The depression, which initially moved towards Tamil Nadu-Sri Lanka coast, changed its direction suddenly before coming closer to the Andhra coast and lay about 150 km from Ongole at midnight on Tuesday. The Indian Meteorological Department said the depression was likely to cross the coast anytime now between Ongole and Machilipatnam, causing heavy rain in these places.

Strong winds would sweep along and off the coast. First warning signals have been hoisted at Krishnapatnam, Vodarevu, Nizampatnam, Machilipatnam, Kakinada and Visakhapatnam ports and fishermen were asked to suspend fishing activity.

Traffic disrupted

A number of rivulets, streams and tanks in these districts were in spite while flash floods in Manneru and Dornavagu and Koniki in Prakasam district disrupted traffic between around Ongole, Kandukuru, Ulavapadu and Inkollu.

Four gates of Gundlakamma project were opened to let out the heavy inflows. A constant watch was being maintained over the water level in Rallapadu reservoir which wrecked havoc on earlier occasions. In Guntur district, Pakalapalli stream rose menacingly, paralysing traffic between Sattenapalli and Atchampet. A woman died in wall collapse at Seetampet in West Godavari district and two died in Prakasam district.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who reviewed the situation, asked Collectors of all the nine coastal districts to be on alert and shift people from low-lying areas where necessary to relief camps. Bapatla and Narsapur recorded heavy rainfall of 10 cm each; Repalli, Sullurpet 9 cm each; Tada 8 cm; and Machilipatnam, Bhimavaram, Gudur, Nuzvid, Sattenapalli 7 cm each.

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