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Flood situation worsens in Andhra, toll 58

By Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad
Last updated on: September 21, 2005 21:46 IST
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Heavy rains triggered by cyclonic storm in Andhra Pradesh claimed 58 lives in the last two days as the State Government sought Rs 1200 crore Central assistance on Wednesday to tide over the situation.

"The situation is quite grim. We have evacuated over 1.50 lakh people from the affected areas and set up 473 relief camps," Chief Minister Y S Rajsekhara Reddy told reporters on Wednesday night, on his return from an aerial survey of the worst-affected Khammam, Krishna, West Godavari districts.

Warangal district bore the brunt, accounting for 10 deaths followed by East and West Godavari,Krishna, Guntur, Khammam, Visakhapatnam, Nalgonda, Srikakulam and Vizinagaram.

The Chief Minister said 3672 villages spread over 10 districts in Coastal Andhra and Telangana regions were affected by the rains and floods.

In a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was on a brief visit to the temple town of Tirupati, the State Government said the preliminary estimate of the crop loss was Rs 1809 crore and 92,108 houses were inundated.

Apart from financial assistance, the State also sought 12.75 lakh tonnes of rice from the Centre to help the flood victims. "Dr Singh's response to our request was very positive, he assured to send a Central team to visit the affected areas within three days," Reddy said.

Dr Singh announced Rs 1 lakh ex-gratia to each of the kin of the victims. Earlier in the day, the United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi called up the chief minister and expressed her concern over the loss due to heavy rains and assured all possible central assistance to the state.

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Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad