The Hindu, Monday, Oct 30, 2006

Coastal districts put on high alert

Special Correspondent


  • Downpour floods several low-lying areas in coastal Andhra and disrupts life
  • Alarm signals hoisted at all ports due to the rough state of the sea


    RAIN HAVOC: A car breaks down near the water-logged bus station in Ongole on Sunday.



    HYDERABAD: The Government has placed all the nine coastal districts from Srikakulam to Nellore on a high alert as the depression over Central Bay of Bengal intensified into a deep depression and lay East of Kavali. It was likely to cross the coast between Bapatla and Kakinada.

    Under its influence, heavy and widespread rain battered the State for the second day on Sunday.

    The downpour flooded several low-lying areas in coastal Andhra and disrupted normal life, especially in Visakhapatnam and Prakasam districts. Control rooms in all coastal districts were activated.

    Villages were being monitored through wireless system.

    Fishermen warned

    Alarm signals were hoisted at all ports--Visakhapatnam, Odarevu, Machilipatnam, Krishnapatnam, Kakinada and Nizampatnam.

    As the state of the sea is likely to be "very rough to high along and off the coast," fishermen were warned against venturing into the sea.

    Many localities in Ongole town and Visakhapatnam were inundated. Huge inflows reached Rallavagu project near Kandukur in Prakasam district.

    Engineers sought the help of villagers to lift the gates of the project.

    Owing to inclement weather, some flights bound for Vizag from Chennai and Hyderabad were cancelled for the day.

    In West Godavari district, a canal breached near the Kovvur-Manjira junction, threatening to inundate standing crops. Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, now on a visit of Krishna district, asked the Collectors to evacuate families from vulnerable places on a mass scale by opening as many relief camps as required.

    People evacuated

    So far 10,000 people were moved to safer places and ten relief camps opened in Prakasam district.

    Revenue Minister D. Prasada Rao also reviewed the situation with senior officials of the Disaster Management Department.

    Heavy rain forecast

    Meanwhile, a weather forecast said that coastal Andhra and Telangana would experience "heavy to very heavy rain" during the next 48 hours, with occasional strong gales along and off the coast.

    On Sunday, the North-East monsoon remained "vigorous" over coastal Andhra.

    Ongole received 19 cm rain, Kakinada 13 cm, Kavali and Repalle 8 cm each and Nellore 7 cm.

    Bapatla and Machilipatnam received 6 cm each, Narsapur, Tuni 4 cm each, Anantapur, Visakhapatnam 3 cm each, Kalingapatnam and Veeragattam 2 cm each.