Massive evacuation in AP as heavy rain causes crack in state’s biggest reservoir

The Rayalseema region has been hit by incessant rains over the last few days, claiming 24 lives with many more missing in floods that have ravaged the state

People walk through flooded roads in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh on Sunday. Pic: PTI

People living in Ramachandrapuram and villages surrounding Tirupati in Chittor district of Andhra Pradesh have been told to move to higher places as the bunds around Rayala Cheruvu, one of the biggest reservoirs in the state, have reportedly developed cracks following heavy rains over the last few days. The Swarnamukhi river in Tirumala Hills is in full spate, resulting in floods in adjoining areas.

The Rayalseema region of Andhra has been hit by incessant rain over the last few days, claiming 24 lives with many more missing in floods that have ravaged the state.

The weather department said that torrential rain was the result of depressions caused in the Bay of Bengal.

While rain took a break on Monday (November 22), a small breach in the Rayala Cheruvu reservoir has alarmed the Chittor district administration which is unwilling to take chances and has alerted the villagers. Highways and other arterial roads have been damaged or flooded, resulting in several villages losing contact with the rest of the state. About 1300 villages have suffered heavy damages in the floods so far.

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Chittor district collector Hari Narayanan and the police took a decision to evacuate all downstream villages as a safety measure. The reservoir, at present, is brimming with water and poses threat to people living in the nearby villages. Narayanan said Rayala Cheruvu has only 0.9 TMC water, but it was not meant to hold so much water.

Another official said they are consulting structural engineers to see how the bunds can be prevented from cracking open.

Also read: Flash floods: Roads to Tirumala shrine shut, flight service hit, pilgrims stranded

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams are already active in Tirumala while the Indian Air Force has send in helicopters with relief material.

A total of 17 superfast trains on the Chennai-Vijayawada route have been cancelled while several other services have either been diverted or partially cancelled. The track between Nandalur and Razampet is under repair.

The roadways too have been affected. As a result, several passengers got stuck in Nellore, Chittoor, Kadapa, and Anantapur districts.

As per reports, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara temple, has suffered a damage to the tune of Rs.5 crore.

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