Karnataka, Andhra floods: Is the worst over?

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Hyderabad, Bangalore:  Four days after what are being described as the worst floods in history, many parts of Andhra Pradesh remain water-logged and cut off. The only access to many areas is through Indian Air Force choppers carrying out relief and rescue operations.

In Karnataka the situation is better, with water receding and none of the affected areas cut off.

Over 250 people are dead and close to 1 million have been displaced due to the massive floods in the south. The death toll stands at 206 and 63 in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh respectively.

Andhra Pradesh still flooded

One of India's most prosperous cities Vijayawada is today virtually cut off with highways connecting it to Hyderabad and Chennai under water. Army and private boats are being used extensively in Vijayawada and other villages in Krishna district to evacuate people and shift them to relief camps. The levels at the Prakasam barrage have been steadily rising, with the swollen Krishna virtually swallowing the areas on both sides of the river.

The Andhra Pradesh government has asked the Centre for Rs 6,000 crores for relief measures as water has submerged villages, entered homes leaving lakhs homeless, marooned; families have left as water from the Prakkassam barrage entered the city.

About 15,000 people in low-lying areas have been evacuated.

Andhra Pradesh has estimated damages due to heavy rains and floods at Rs 12,225 crore.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi took a closer look at the extent of devastation through an aerial survey of Kurnool and Mahabubnagar. Both districts took the maximum brunt of torrential rains and floods. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister said he has requested Karnataka notto release water from Almatti and Narayanpur dams upstream unless it isinevitable.

Rehabilitation on in Karnataka

In Karnataka, the focus is now on rehabilitation efforts. With no rains over the last couple of days, floodwaters have receded but lakhs of people are in relief camps.

The Karnataka Chief Minister appealed to the PM to declare the worst floods in the state since 1972 as a 'national calamity' and release Rs 10,000 crore from the National Calamity Contingency Fund to rehabilitate the affected people. Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa told NDTV that manycorporates are pitching in for the relief efforts and many villageswill now be shifted permanently.

Meanwhile, Karnataka's Irrigation Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the flood damage in Andhra Pradesh could have been lessened if that state had handled its dams properly says. He told NDTV that Karnataka had kept its outflow to the minimum possible.

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