Heavy rain disrupted life in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on Wednesday, causing severe waterlogging in several areas and submerging low-lying places. Home Minister Amit Shah said his department was closely monitoring the situation in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
At least 20 people died in Telangana – nine of them in a wall collapse in Hyderabad, reported PTI. While there were 17 deaths in Hyderabad, three were from other parts of Telangana, according to the Hindustan Times. In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, seven people have reportedly died in rain-related incidents.
The wall collapse incident took place around 11 pm on Tuesday, said Falaknuma Assistant Commissioner of Police MA Majeed. “Two houses were badly damaged and nine persons died on the spot,” he added. “They include five victims in one family and four others from different families. Four persons sustained serious injuries and are undergoing treatment at Owaisi hospital.”
All India Majlis-e-Ittahadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi visited Bandlaguda area, where the wall collapse happened, to oversee the rescue operations.
The city has been receiving incessant downpour over the last three days. Hyderabad recorded 191.8 millimetres of rain in 24 hours till 8:30 am on Wednesday, according to The Indian Express. This is the highest rainfall that the city has received in month of October since 1903.
Videos on social media also showed cars being swept away by fast-flowing water in the city as locals called for help.
Trees were uprooted in several places and there were reports of power outages. Several low-lying areas in Begum Bazar, Khairatabad, Begumpet, Tolichowki, Shaikpet, Mehdipatnam, Cherlapally, Mallapur, Moula Ali were completely submerged. Water entered many residential colonies in Somajiguda, Errum Manzil, Khairatabad and Vijayanagar Colony.
Rescue teams of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation worked in Ameerpet, Nagole, Abids, Mehdipatnam, Forum Mall, Goshamahal, CM camp office, Dilsukhnagar, Miyapur Metro station, ECIL and Secunderabad areas. The National Disaster Response Force rescued 74 people from the low-lying areas of Bandangpet area.
In Hyderabad’s Barkas area, a man was washed away by the turbulent floodwater. A video shows the man trying to hold on to a pole as people around him shout for help. It is unclear whether or not the man was rescued, according to NDTV.
The city’s Nehru Zoological Park was also flooded.
The Hyderabad Traffic Police have been continuously issuing alerts for commuters. More videos from the city showed disaster management officials carrying out rescue operations in the city’s flooded areas. In Tolichowki area, the rescuers had to use boats.
Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Commissioner Lokesh Kumar asked people not to venture out of their houses unless absolutely necessary.
The entire state of Telangana has received heavy rain over the last few days. At least 14 districts of the state have been affected by the incessant downpour, according to News 18. Heavy rain has killed 20 people in the state in the last 48 hours, NDTV reported.
The state government declared a two-day holiday for all its offices and institutions, The Times of India reported.
In Shamshabad area of Ranga Reddy district, the National Highway 44 was cut off after the embankment of a lake collapsed.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had on Tuesday directed districts officials to remain on high alert, PTI reported.
Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy, meanwhile, spoke to the National Disaster Response officials and told them to send teams to Hyderabad. State minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development KT Rama Rao said 40 relief camps were set up across the state, where food and water is being provided to 80,000 people.
The India Meteorological Department also forecast thunderstorms along coastal regions in Andhra Pradesh in the next 24 hours. Somesh Kumar, the chief secretary to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy, warned officials of flooding, NDTV reported. “Massive flooding and waterlogging are likely to occur in low-lying areas. Uprooting of trees and electricity poles are also expected and could cause disruption to normal activities,” he said, in a letter.
Kumar added: “Reservoirs, tanks and streams may overflow and cause low bridges and causeways to be flooded, posing threat to traffic and people. District Collectors and SPs [Superintendent of Police] are requested to put respective district administrations on alert and strictly follow flood protocols communicated earlier.”