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AP flood situation still grim

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Over 31 lakh people affected, 11.3 lakh evacuated

FLOOD VICTIMS proceed in groups to safer places from Mummidivaram village in Rajahmundry district on Tuesday. - S. Rambabu
FLOOD VICTIMS proceed in groups to safer places from Mummidivaram village in Rajahmundry district on Tuesday. - S. Rambabu

Our Bureau

Hyderabad, Aug. 8

The flood situation in Andhra Pradesh continues to be grim; the administration has stepped up efforts for rescue and rehabilitation work in many rain-ravaged districts.

The rescue operations have been further hit due to backwaters in the East and West Godavari regions inundating over 350 villages, as the flow into the sea was restricted due to high tide.

The Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, described the situation as grim and has written to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, for Central help and to declare it as a national calamity and release Rs 180 crore as advance to take up relief and rehabilitation woks.

Dr Reddy narrated the flood situation that has claimed over 100 lives and rendered thousands of people homeless.

The extent of loss can only be gauged over the next few days as the floodwaters have not yet receded in Khammam, West Godavari and East Godavari districts, which are still inaccessible.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister announced that the UPA Chairperson, Ms Sonia Gandhi, and the Union Home Minister, Mr Shivraj Patil, would visit the State on Wednesday and to conduct an aerial survey of the flood-ravaged areas.

According to reports, the backwaters in the lush Konaseema area in East Godavari district have inundated villages due to high tide. The high tide is due to full moon day.

This has, in effect, reduced the discharge into the sea, thereby flooding more villages. Rescue operations have become more difficult for the district administration.

Two local boats carrying food and relief material capsized and road and other communication links have been severed due to the flood fury.

Naval and country boats and helicopters have been pressed into service in several parts of the State and camps set up to help those who have been rendered homeless.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 9, 2006)
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