Rescue, relief in full swing in flood-hit Bhadrachalam

Bhadrachalam town and about 200 villages downstream remained inundated and cut-off as the river recorded its highest flood level after three decades.

Hyderabad: Rescue and relief operations in the flood-hit Bhadradri Kothagudem district of Telangana were in full swing while Godavari river continued to flow above danger mark on Saturday.

Bhadrachalam town and about 200 villages downstream remained inundated and cut-off as the river recorded its highest flood level after three decades. Over 20,000 people have already been evacuated to relief camps.

With continuing inflows, the water level in Godavari at Bhadrachalam dam stood at 70.50 feet. According to district collector D. Anudeep, 24,18,755 cusecs of water is being let out downstream. The highest flood level was 71.30 feet at 4 a.m. and it came down to 70.50. However, it is still much above the third flood level of 53 feet.

Several residential areas in the temple town and about 200 villages in Cherla, Dummugudem, Aswapuram, Burgampadu, Pinapaka and Manugur mandals (blocks) along the course of the river were marooned and cut-off.

Bhadrachalam remained cut-off for the third day with the closure of the famous Godavari bridge for vehicular traffic. Vehicular traffic was stopped on Thursday on this bridge which links the temple town to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

This is the second time in the history of this bridge that it has been closed due to floods. The last time it was closed for traffic was in 1986 when water level had reached 75.6 feet.

Five teams of the Indian Army have also joined the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in rescue and relief operations.

A total 101 men of whom 68 from the Infantry, 10 medical professionals and 23 engineers reached Bhadrachalam. The Army has also positioned a helicopter for rescue operations.

The Tourism department has dispatched four special boats along with men to Bhadradri district to assist in rescue and relief operations.A AFire department has also dispatched seven boats along with 210 life jackets and life boys.

The government has deputed a senior officer, the MD of Singareni Collieries N. Sridhar as special officer to monitor the relief operations in the district.

The infrastructure available with the Singareni Collieries has been pressed into service at Bhadrachalam for flood relief operations.

Meanwhile, Godavari level is receding at Kaleshwaram in Jayashankar Bhupalapally district. With rains abating and inflows from upstream receding, water level has reduced at Kaleshwaram.

Godavari level at the project had reached record level due to incessant rains for over a week in Telangana and upstream areas in neighbouring Maharashtra.

With the water level receding at Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP) in Nizamabad district, the irrigation department closed down all the flood gates.


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