Water recedes slightly in Andhra's worst-hit areas

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Water recedes slightly in Andhra's worst-hit areas
Hyderabad:  The water level in Andhra Pradesh's three worst-hit districts of Kurnool, Mahbubnagar and Krishna has receded slightly, and power has been partially restored in Old Kurnool.

The Bangalore-Hyderabad national highway to Kurnool town is clear, and the town is no longer cut off. Meanwhile, the bridge to Kurnool fm Hyderabad side is being repaired.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah will stay at the Secretariat through Saturday night to personally monitor the situation. "All district collectors have been given full discretionary powers to take decisions in the interest of public welfare," the Chief Minister said.

The Andhra Pradesh government is now banking on Karnataka's word that it will not release more than 4.85 lakh cusecs of water per day.

"We have asked them to impound excess flow from the Tungabhadra and Krishna rivers, to the last drop of water. They have agreed," Rosaiah said.

It's ironic that the first casualty of Karnataka's excess waters let off into Andhra Pradesh was the National Highway 7 connecting Hyderabad and Bangalore - critical for recue operations.

Water levels at the Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar and Prakasam dams first touched the danger mark on Friday evening.

But it was 24 hours after the Krishna and Tungabhadra rivers overflowed that choppers and boats carrying defence personnel from the Army and Navy started rescue and relief operations. Air force choppers are now dropping food packets and milk to affected areas.

Mahbubnagar and Krishna districts are also totally submerged, while the famous temple town of Mantralayam has been under 10 feet of water for more than a day. Kurnool town remains totally inaccessible, making it tough for rescue operations.

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Rescue personnel have already evacuated 1.5 lakh people in Kurnool district, 1.34 lakh people in Mahaboobnagar district, 15,000 people in Krishna district and 5,000 flood victims in Guntur district.

At least  41 villages in the coastal Krishna district have been evacuated. Bus services from Hyderabad to Rayalaseema have been suspended.


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