Over a thousand people were evacuated from their homes and moved to safer locations in Telangana’s Nirmal district following incessant rains that persisted for over 24 hours.
Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao instructed Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar to depute NDRF teams in the town areas, parts of which are submerged in water due to overflowing backwaters of the Swarna river project. Four NDRF teams are on their way and rescue operations were initiated by Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, the Hyderabad centre of India Meteorological Department, which had earlier predicted heavy to extremely heavy rains for eastern and north-eastern districts till July 24, issued a red alert for Adilabad, Kumurambheem Asifabad, Mancherial, Jagtial, Nirmal, Nizamabad, Rajanna Sircilla, Kamareddy districts. It also issued orange and yellow alerts for most other districts till Saturday.
While heavy rains lashed most parts of the northern and eastern Telangana, the highest downpour of 20 cm to 25 cm rainfall was reported till 8.30am Thursday from Dilawarpur, Narsapur, Bhainsa, Mamda, Sarangapur, Kuntala, etc in the Nirmal district. Sarangapur received another 15 cm rainfall till Thursday afternoon, as per the rainfall data available with Telangana State Development Planning Society.
People in certain parts of Nirmal town were seen fishing using nets on main roads as water gushed in from nearby rivers and tanks. Fish weighing up to 10kg were netted from the streets.
People are seen fishing on the streets of #Telangana‘s Nirmal district after lakes and streams are overflowing after heavy rains lashed in Northern parts of the state. It’s fish bonanza for many in Nirmal today. 🐠 pic.twitter.com/I7RUBxLbgB
— Paul Oommen (@Paul_Oommen) July 22, 2021
An official of Nirmal district administration told indianexpress.com that the flood is under control across the district as on Thursday afternoon, except in Siddapur village near Nirmal town.
“Seventy persons were stranded and waiting to be rescued in Siddapur. Four teams of NDRF are on their way. Around 600 people in Bhainsa have been evacuated and moved to safer locations like schools and have bene provided lunch. Many people in Nirmal town have already left for their relatives’ homes. Rescue operations will start as soon as NDRF teams reach here,” the official said.
Nirmal SP Challa Praveen Kumar, when contacted, said most of the rivers and water bodies in the district are overflowing but there is no loss of life reported. “In Siddapur of Nirmal town and Autonagar of Bhainsa town, more than 250 people are yet to be rescued. Rains have subsided and the situation is under control,” he told indianexpress.com.
Rains! #Pochera in #Nirmal District. Actually, it’s a waterfall but heavy rains in the catchment areas in #Maharastra made it look like a river. 😊
These waters lead to #Kuntala waterfall then fill #Kadem project, eventually merge into #Godavari near our #Lingapoor village. pic.twitter.com/cWDwhe3LXb
— Venkat Rameshwar (@venkatrameshwar) July 22, 2021
Meanwhile, the chief minister instructed officials and public representatives to take preventive measures on a war footing as the intensity of the flood is increasing in the Godavari catchment areas due to heavy rains in the upper reaches of the Sri Ram Sagar Project in Nizamabad district.
The CM also asked minister Vemula Prashanth Reddy to monitor the preventive measures in the Balkonda assembly segment and in Nizamabad district.
The state government has sounded an alarm after more incessant rains are predicted for the coming days and instructed district collectors, SPs, revenue officials and R&B officers to take preventive measures in the Godavari catchment area and evacuate people if necessary. The government urged people living in these areas not to venture out of their homes, as all lakes and rivulets are overflowing and breaching the safety marks due to the rains.
During a teleconference meeting with district collectors and police chiefs of the 16 flood-affected districts, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar directed the administrations to prevent loss of life and damage to property.
Control rooms are being set up in all districts and all departments have been directed to work in close coordination to avoid breaches of water bodies and to ensure drinking water, power supply, and sanitation.
Earlier in the day, in a statement, the CM instructed TRS leaders and cadres to be available at Telangana Bhavan in Hyderabad to monitor the situation. “Along with officials in the catchment areas, TRS leadership, from gram sarpanch to the ministers, have been asked to ensure people are not put to hardships,” the CM said in a statement.
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