Tirupati: At least 17 people died and more than 100 were reportedly missing in separate incidents as incessant rains caused flash floods across the four districts of the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh on Friday.
The depression in the Bay of Bengal led to flash floods triggering off a deluge.
National and state disaster relief teams have been deployed to handle the situation and rescue operations are in full swing. The floods have damaged the roads at many places and rail, road and air traffic have been hit.
Though the fire services personnel rescued a majority of the passengers and staff of 3 APSRTC buses which were stuck in the flood water near Ramapuram, twelve persons washed away in the flash floods were found dead at various places across Rajampet Mandal.
While officials retrieved 7 bodies near Gandluru, three more bodies were retrieved near Rayavaram and the bodies of two others were retrieved near Mandapalli. Meanwhile, 30 persons belonging to Mandapalli, Akepadu, Nandaluru in Rajampet mandal were reportedly washed away in floods and officials have launched a search operation to rescue them.
Rail and road traffic between Tirupati and Kadapa came to a standstill as floodwater damaged the railway tracks and national highways at several places along the route. While the Kadapa airport has been sealed off till the 25th of this month, nearly 10 trains plying between the Nandalur-Rajampet route have been diverted by the south central railways.
APSRTC has also suspended bus services from Tirupati-Kadapa, Tirupati-Piler-Rajampet and other routes as flash floods have damaged roads along these routes. Tungabhadra river which received heavy inflows was in full spate prompting officials to lift 12 crest gates and release waters downstream. This is the first time in 39 years that the Tungabhadra project reached its full reservoir level in the month of November. In Chittoor district, two persons were reported dead in separate incidents on Friday. While the body of one woman who was washed away along with four other women in the Balijapalli tank flood waters at Bangarupalyam mandal was found, rescue operations are on to trace the other women.
The NDRF teams used boats and rescued as many as 60 persons who were washed away in the flood water near Jeevagram village in Renigunta mandal of Chittoor district on Friday.
While 17 persons were reported dead in separate flood-related incidents, more than 100 persons reportedly washed away in the flash floods across Chittoor, Kadapa, Kurnool and Anantapur districts on Friday and the SDRF and NDRF, local police, revenue, fire services personnel have launched a rescue operation to trace them out.
With more than 15,000 pilgrims stranded at Tirumala where the twin ghat roads as well as the twin pedestrian routes have been sealed off, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams has made elaborate food and shelter arrangements for the devotees on Friday.