The Hindu, Monday, Oct 30, 2006
Coastal districts put on high alert in Andhra Pradesh
HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh 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 and lay East of Kavali. It is 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.
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 to Krishna district, asked the Collectors to evacuate families from vulnerable places on a mass scale by opening as many relief camps as required. 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.
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.