Seventy people have died due to heavy rain in Telangana in a week, PTI reported on Monday, citing state minister KT Rama Rao. The state’s capital Hyderabad, which has witnessed two spells of heavy rain, is likely to receive more downpour over the next two days.
Rao said that incessant rain led to 37 deaths in Hyderabad. He added that this was the second-heaviest rainfall in the city after 1908.
The minister said that the government will evacuate people living in low-lying areas of the city because of fresh weather warnings. “IMD [India Meteorological Department] has already warned us that there would be heavy rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms,” he said. “We know exactly which areas would be inundated.”
He added: “We are going to evacuate those colonies. We will go house by house and evacuate them. Thousands of people will be evacuated today, tomorrow and day after.”
Rao urged the people to cooperate with the government. “We’re trying to minimise the loss of life,” he said, according to NDTV. “So please cooperate in evacuation. Don’t just move to higher floors.”
The minister added that Andhra Pradesh will send boats to augment rescue efforts in Hyderabad. He also said that the government has spoken to the Army and National Disaster Response Force to keep helicopters on standby, according to PTI.
Rao also spoke about the need to make changes to urban infrastructure. “There is no denying there are illegal encroachments,” he was quoted as saying by NDTV. “Lake beds have become colonies, storm water drains need modernisation, they are clogged. We want to find a permanent solution to these problems. Our immediate priority however is to save lives.”
Rao said the state government had asked the Centre to release of Rs 1,380 crore in the form of flood assistance, PTI reported. Telangana had estimated losses to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore because of heavy rain and floods.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, meanwhile, announced that the government will provide Rs 10,000 to each family affected by the incessant rain in the last couple of days. The state’s Finance Department has released Rs 550 crore as financial aid, the chief minister’s office said.
The Tamil Nadu government said it will contribute Rs 10 crore to the Telangana Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, The Hindu reported.
Karnataka has also been hit by heavy rain. Several villages in Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Yadgir and Raichur districts have been submerged and over 36,000 people have been evacuated, PTI reported.
The Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre said that 97 villages have been affected by heavy rains. “So far we have evacuated 36,290 people,” an unidentified official told the news agency. “We have opened 174 relief camps where 28,007 people are staying.”
The Army and the Disaster Response Force personnel have also been involved in rescue operations.
The weather department said that Bengaluru, which has been witnessing heavy rain since Sunday night, has recorded 39.6 millimetres of rainfall in 24 hours till 8.30 am on Monday.