Two killed as heavy rains lash Andhra Pradesh

Vijayawada, Sep 22 (IANS) Two persons were killed and four others went missing as heavy rains lashed Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, throwing rail and road transport and bringing the normal life to standstill.

The incessant rains for a second consecutive day inundated low-lying areas. Rivulets, streams and tanks were overflowing in south and north coastal districts of the state.

Guntur was the worst-hit with flood water submerging residential areas in towns and villages. Both the deaths were reported from Guntur.

A bus with 40 passengers was caught in flood waters at Vutukuru village in Guntur. Police with the help of locals rescued the passengers.

Some passengers had climbed on top of the bus as the water level rose, desperately looking for help. Though the district administration was trying to arrange a helicopter to save the passengers, the local police swung into action and launched rescue operation.

Initial reports had put the number of passengers at 47.

Several residential areas in Sattenapalli town of Guntur district were inundated. Palnadu region in the district was the worst-affected.

Highways and railway tracks were inundated, disrupting road and rail traffic. Road traffic between Hyderabad and Guntur came to a standstill.

Several trains passing through Guntur district were either cancelled or diverted as railway track was submerged between Guntur and Nadikudi.

Authorities opened control rooms in Guntur and Vijayawada. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who reviewed the situation with top officials, said all efforts were being made to prevent loss of life.

He said the rescue teams of National Disaster Response Force and State Disaster Response Force were deployed for rescue operations. Two helicopters of Indian Navy were also kept ready.

With met office forecasting more rains over next 48 hours under the impact of low pressure over Bay of Bengal, the authorities were evacuating people from low-lying areas.

–IANS

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