October 5, 2009 3:23:05 pm
The heaviest flood in over a 100 years today hit the Prakasam Barrage on Krishna River threatening several villages downstream even as the toll due to heavy rains and rampaging floods in Andhra Pradesh,Karnataka and Maharashtra climbed to 240.
River Krishna virtually turned into a sea in all its fury as a record 10.61 lakh cusecs of flood water reached Prakasam Barrage. This is the heaviest flood in river Krishna in more than 106 years as the previous record stands at 10.30 lakh cusecs in 1903,irrigation authorities said in Vijayawada.
The water level touched 21.4 feet at Prakasam Barrage and all the 72 sluice gates have been lifted to let out water into Bay of Bengal. While Karnataka accounted for 178 deaths following recovery of 10 more bodies in northern and coastal regions of the state,Andhra Pradesh registered 37 deaths while Maharashtra 25. Over two lakh homes have been washed away in the three states where the receding monsoon has caused extensive damage to crops.
Officials in Bangalore said the bodies were recovered late last evening from the districts of Bellary,Uttara Kannada,Raichur,Dharwad,Koppal and Gadag among others. UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandh,accompanied by Home Minister P Chidamabaram and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah,undertook an aerial survey of the flood-affected Kurnool and Mahabubnagar districts of the state.
A report from Mumbai said that heavy rains continued to lash the city and its adjoining areas for the third consecutive day today but there was no disruption of rail and road traffic in the morning rush hours.
Officials in Karnataka said the flood situation had improved after rains relented since last evening. Considering the magnitude of the tragedy and enormous damage to infrastructure and property,Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa urged the Centre to term the devastation as a ‘National Calamity’ and release relief under National Calamity Contingency Fund (NCCF) to the extent of Rs 10,000 crore.
He said the state government has decided to build two lakh homes in the flood-affected districts of Karnataka. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was likely to undertake an aerial survey of the flooded regions of his state tomorrow,the Chief Minister said.
Irrigation authorities in Vijayawada said the current flood discharge at Nagarjuna Sagar has been reduced to 10.3 lakh cusescs from 11 lakh cusecs yesterday. The discharge is expected to remain constant at least in the next 24 hours and the outflow from Prakasam Barrage will also be around 10.5 lakh cusecs.
Chodavaram village on the downstream of Prakasam Barrage is facing a grave threat as flood water is about to submerge the entire village.
However,there is no threat to lives as villagers have already moved in relief camps. Two more villages near Thotalvalluru also faced a severe threat as river embankment is found to be weak. Water seepage from the embankment in some places could lead to inundation of villages on the Krishna left bank.
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