- Cyclone hits Andhra Pradesh destroying 14,000 hectares of standing crop
- Shocked at the devastation of his crop, a farmer collapsed in his field
- Cyclone Phethai has moved to Odisha triggering rainfall in several parts
A farmer in Andhra Pradesh collapsed and died in his field on Tuesday, shocked at the devastation of his paddy crop by Cyclone Phethai, which swept through the state on Monday.
In a heart-wrenching image, Gottipally Chinnarao's body is seen in his flooded field, surrounded by a group of farmers.
The 69-year-old paddy farmer from Srikakulam district died of a heart attack, doctors say. He had gone to the field to break the bunds, tackle waterlogging and save his rotting ready-to-sell harvest, but could not bear the shock when he saw the damaged paddy.
The farmer has three sons and a daughter.
"My father suffered losses in the earlier cyclone too. The harvest was bundled and ready but got completely wet. He tried to save the crop but collapsed and died," said his son Kameswar.
Another famer, G Dilleswarao, said Chinnarao was growing crop on two acres and all of it was destroyed. "His three sons and daughter were not into agriculture because it is not sustainable. They all migrated to Chennai and Hyderabad. Flooding destroyed the crop. So government should help."
Standing crop on an estimated 60,000 acres has been destroyed in 48 hours of rain caused by Cyclone Phethai, which killed one person in the state. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who conducted an aerial survey of the cyclone-hit, said the damage was worth Rs 243 crore.
Just two months ago, Cyclone Titli had devastated coconut, jackfruit and banana plantations in Srikakulam.
The cyclone moved to Odisha on Tuesday triggering heavy rainfall in several parts. More than 11,000 people were moved to safety zones and the farmers have been advised to take necessary measures to protect their crops.
In October, Cyclone Titli had caused immense damage to coconut, jackfruit plantations, adversely affecting the farmers in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
At a time when the country is debating loan waiver for farmers, experts say that they need funds and a robust insurance system that can help them cope with crises like these.