Incessant rains have claimed as many as 29 lives in Andhra Pradesh during the past four days while more than 72,000 people have been evacuated from low-lying areas.
The rain and flood-battered southern state is unlikely to get respite anytime soon as the Met department has forecast heavy downpour in the next 48 hours.
According to an official note from the Commissioner, Disaster Management, more than 72,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas in nine districts. Also, crops spread over 5.64 lakh hectares and 6,597 houses had been damaged.
The government has set up 178 relief camps in nine districts, including 36 in Srikakulam.
Hundreds of villages across Andhra Pradesh remained submerged, while road and rail routes were affected as the rain fury continued today.
Rain-related incidents like drowning and wall collapse have claimed 29 lives so far. Prakasam district accounted for the maximum deaths at six, followed by Guntur (5), Mahabubnagar (4), Hyderabad, Kurnool (three each), Vizianagaram, East Godavari, Nalgonda and Warangal (2 each), the statement said.
Besides, two persons have been reported missing in Visakhapatnam district.
River Krishna was in spate following which 3.15 lakh cusecs of water is being discharged into Bay of Bengal from Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada.
Vast stretches of Vijayawada-Hyderabad Highway were submerged in floodwaters, leading to traffic diversion.
Rail track at Bommayipalli on the Secunderabad-Guntur section was damaged and repairs were being carried out. All important trains on this route are being diverted via Warangal and Vijayawada, official sources said.
The East Coast Railway has cancelled Bhubaneswar-Bengaluru Prasanthi Express and Bhubaneswar-Visakhapatnam Express trains due to heavy rains. The Puri-Tirupati Express and Coromandel Express also stands cancelled, they said.
A dozen teams of National Disaster Response Force are carrying out relief operations in Srikakulam, Guntur, West Godavari, Nalgonda, Prakasam and Mahbubnagar, they added.
Vehicular traffic has been thrown out of gear as 900 km road stretch has been marooned. As many as 117 minor irrigation tanks were damaged in the rain-ravaged districts. Tens of village tanks have suffered breaches inundating settlements and crops.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today asked District Collectors to distribute ex-gratia to the kin of those killed in