Andhra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu battle rain fury

Wednesday 24th November 2021 06:50 EST

Chennai: Incessant heavy rains in parts of South India have left the region battered by flooding and water-logging at several places in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Andhra Pradesh has reported 41 deaths in rain-related incidents. Twelve others were reported missing. The fresh worry for the people in the region is that the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of more rainfall over the next few days.

The IMD said widespread light to moderate rainfall was expected in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry over the next 5 days.

The flood situation in Andhra Pradesh continued to be grim with arterial roads cut off even as the death toll increased to 41 with 12 more deaths reported on Sunday. Train and bus services remained affected while many villages and towns in Rayalaseema and Nellore district remained under water.

Streams, rivulets and village tanks were full to the brim and a few of them were overflowing causing concern to people living in low-lying areas. On Sunday, six more bodies were retrieved in Rajampet mandal and two bodies in Chinnamandem mandal of Kadapa district, while four deaths were reported in Nellore district.

Officials said 15 bodies were handed over to the families. Three unidentified bodies are lying at Rajampet government hospital in Kadapa district. The road bridge connecting Kadapa-Tadipatri towns along the Papagni river collapsed due to the impact of flood in the early hours on Sunday.

Rail and road connectivity to the temple city of Tirupati remained cut off with the closure of Kadapa-Tirupati highway, Nellore-Tirupati highway, and Bengaluru-Tirupati highway. Nearly 2,000 devotees, who boarded the Tirumala Express to reach Tirupati, were dropped off at Kadapa railway station, sparking off protests. Officials later arranged special buses and shifted them to Tirupati.

All arterial roads linking Tirupati with Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Vijayawada were affected. Even the main railway route connecting the temple city was affected forcing the authorities to cancel dozens of train services.

In Karnataka, people heaved a sigh of relief as rains took a break on Sunday. According to a report, 24 people have lost their lives in Karnataka in rain-related incidents. Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai chaired a high-level meeting to review the rain and flood situation in the state. A state government report said Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Tumkuru, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Ramanagara and Hassan were the most affected districts in Karnataka.

In Tamil Nadu, heavy rainfall has led to flooding in parts of Villupuram and Cuddalore districts where Thenpennai river is overflowing. Three people were reported to have died in Krishnagiri and Tiruvannamalai districts of Tamil Nadu in rain-related incidents. Huge swathes of land have come under flood water in Villupuram.

The National Highway-16 that connects Chennai and Kolkata has come under floodwater dividing the highway into two units at Nellore. Local reports say Nellore has not seen such flooding in the past 30 years.

In Kerala, parts of Pathanamthitta district received heavy rainfall posing a threat to Sabarimala pilgrimage. The IMD has predicted more rainfall in Kerala till Thursday. Yellow alert has been issued for several districts of Kerala.

The IMD has predicted that Telangana will also receive light to moderate rain or thundershowers. The weather department said the affected areas of Telangana might see a surface wind speed of around 15kmph.

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