Cyclone Nilam: 22 dead, crops hit, trains affected in AP

Cyclone Nilam: 22 dead in Andhra
Hyderabad, Nov 5: At least 22 people have died in rain-related incidents in Andhra Pradesh as heavy rains continued to batter several regions under the aftermath of Cyclone Nilam, which lashed coastal regions in eastern India.

Coastal Andhra Pradesh continued to bear the brunt of nature's fury as villages and towns were inundated by swollen rivulets while standing crops, including paddy, were affected in 2,43,634 hectares.

The death toll in rain-related incidents like wall collapse and drowning rose to 22, state disaster management commissioner T Radha told reporters here on Sunday. The government has set up 86 relief camps in which about 68,000 people were provided shelter, he said.

The rainfall was such that Narasapur in West Godavari district received a record 31 cms of rainfall in the last 24 hours, followed by 27 cms in Amalapuram, 25 cms in Rajahmundry (both in East Godavari district), 25 cms in Yelamanchili (Visakhapatnam dist) and 23 cms in Koderu (West Godavari district).

Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has directed chief secretary Minnie Mathew to put all concerned departments on high alert and closely monitor the flood and heavy rains situation. He reviewed the situation with the chief secretary and other senior officials from New Delhi over the phone and asked them to make all efforts for relief and rescue measures. He also spoke to collectors of rain-hit districts, a release from the chief minister's office said.

Also, people living in the low lying areas of all districts have been directed to reach safer high ground, even as the chief minister has ordered evacuation apart from opening more relief camps. He also asked the chief secretary and other officials to put the navy and other agencies on alert and see that people are evacuated if need be, by choppers and safety boats, the release said.

Reddy also told the officials that the victims be provided drinking water, food and other essential things. Officials said houses were damaged -- 472 fully and 718 partially -- and 21 cattle also perished. They said 495 kms of roads, 406 kms of drains, 107 kms water supply lines, 36 municipal buildings were damaged.

Cyclone 'Nilam' crossed the Tamil Nadu coast last week and gradually weakened into a low-pressure area and the present rains are an effect of the cyclone. A number of villages and residential localities in towns like Eluru in West Godavari district, Rajahmundry and Kakinada in East Godavari district and also Visakhapatnam district were inundated.

The South Central Railway cancelled the Hyderabad-Howrah East Coast Express on Monday. As many as nine trains, including Tirupati-Visakhapatnam Tirumala Express, Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam Godavari Express, were also affected.

Three trains -- Secunderabad-Howrah Falaknuma Express, Chennai-Asansol Express and Bangalore-Bhubaneswar Prashanti Express have been diverted, SCR said in a release. Four other trains were rescheduled.

Main opposition TDP accused the state government of having failed to take effective measures to provide relief to the people battered by the heavy rains.


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