In Andhra Pradesh, the rain and floods have caused large-scale devastation throughout the state. Thousands of soldiers and relief workers have been trying to get much-needed aid to survivors, distributing food, water and medical supplies wherever possible.
The worst affected places are Kurnool, Krishna, Mahbubnagar, Guntur, East Godavari and Kadapa districts. These floods have resulted in the following:
• About 52 persons have lost their lives;
• Over 4 lakh people have been rendered homeless;
• Millions of people are crammed in overwhelmed temporary government shelters;
• A vast portion of agricultural land is lost as the standing crops of rice, sugarcane, paddy fields, onion, chillies, grapes, pomegranate, cotton, sapota, and banana are under water;
• Severe damage to the infrastructure like dams, roads, bridges, power and communication facilities;
• Huge property either destroyed or looted; and
• Fear of widespread epidemics.
Chief Minister of AP Rosaiah said: “A preliminary estimate of flood loss is Rs. 12,225 crore, including Rs. 10,000-crore damage to dams, roads, power infrastructure and communication.” He urged the Centre to treat the disaster as a ‘national calamity of rare severity’ and release Rs. 6,000 crore as immediate assistance.
Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram said, “We were deeply moved by the scale of the calamity. The loss of life, property, cattle, and standing crops is enormous. Lakhs of people have been accommodated in camps. Rescue and relief operations are in full swing, and it may take a few more days for the situation to stabilise. There will be more work to be done in the days and weeks ahead.”
Vijayawada faces worst flood in 100 years: The Time of India reports: The heaviest flood in over a hundred years hit the Prakasam barrage on Krishna river threatening several villages downstream even as people of Vijayawada city clung on to a faint hope on October 5.
The toll in the heavy rains and rampaging floods in the state rose to 52. The Krishna was all furious as a record 11.03 lakh cusecs of floodwater reached Prakasam barrage. However, there was no threat to human lives as 2.5 lakh people of Krishna and Guntur districts have already been shifted to relief camps.
Of the 52 deaths, Kurnool district accounted for 28 deaths, 17 died in Mahbubnagar, Krishna and Nalgonda reported three each and Guntur one. The Pulichintala project under construction on the Krishna was completely submerged. Sources said 719 minor irrigation tanks were damaged.
Fresh flood threat to Krishna, Guntur: The Hindu (October 6) reports: Over two lakh people have already been rendered homeless by the fresh floods. Traffic on the Vijayawada-Hyderabad National Highway 9 has been diverted as several stretches are lying under water. Railway authorities are anxiously watching the water level downstream of the Prakasam Barrage since the Krishna is nearly touching the rail bridge connecting Vijayawada to Chennai. Nandyal town in Kurnool district continues to be cut off. The death toll in the floods, ravaging the State since October 1, now stands at 52.
United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, accompanied by Mr. Rosaiah, made an aerial survey of the flood-hit areas in Kurnool and Mahbubnagar. Mr. Rosaiah earlier sent a status report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stating that the preliminary estimate of the flood loss was Rs. 12,225 crore, including Rs. 10,000-crore damage to dams, roads, power infrastructure and communication. He urged the Centre to treat the disaster as a ‘national calamity of rare severity’ and release Rs. 6,000 crore as immediate assistance.
The Times of India (October 7) reports: After being submerged in water for five days, Kurnool, Krishna, Mahbubnagar, Guntur, East Godavari and Kadapa districts are now the possible breeding grounds for cholera, malaria and acute diarrhoea diseases. With medical teams unable to reach interior parts of the flood-hit districts, observers say that a health calamity could break out if people across these regions were not given preventive medicines.
State health authorities fear outbreak of diseases, as residents had to wade through flood water, slush and mud and had no potable water to drink. Cases of diarrhoea are already being reported in the hospitals and doctors say that if the slush, animal carcasses are not cleared immediately, the condition could turn worse.
‘Dogs are feeding on the carcasses. Large areas remain uncleared of the debris and bodies, which pose a real danger as infections can spread like wildfire. We can provide treatment but cannot prevent. Moreover, as the road connectivity is cut off, ambulances are unable to reach the worst-hit Kurnool district,’ said a health team worker at Mahbubnagar’s Alampur area.
According to an NDTV (October 7) report, five days after what is being called the worst floods in Andhra Pradesh’s history, locals are still fighting the fury of the waters. While some are fleeing to save their lives, others are fighting to save their homes and still others are trying to salvage whatever’s left of their life’s earnings. This is the worst floods in 10,000 years and has forced lakhs of people to flee their homes, in whatever mode of transport would save their life – they have swum, used pushcarts, children have escaped on the shoulders of their parents.
Not everyone could make it to the safety of a relief camp. Others, who had opted to stay near their homes to safeguard their belongings, had to be eventually rescued. Those who returned home after waters receded, in places like Kurnool town, find hardly anything worthwhile left. There is only silt all over. A survivor who returned says: ‘TV, fridge, cooler, all of it is gone. There is no water to drink. No place to stay. No one has come to our help. Who should we tell our story of woe to, I can’t understand.’’
JIH-AP Zone’s Relief and Rehabilitation Work
Malik Moatasim Khan, Ameer-e-Halaqa JIH-AP & Orissa Zone has expressed grief over the loss of life and property due to floods in various parts of Andhra Pradesh, and announced that the relief work was immediately started for the hundreds and thousands of people who have been rendered homeless or stranded in remote areas.
A delegation of the Jamaat visited the affected areas. M.N.Baig Zahed, Secretary Khidamat-e-Khalq, has been appointed Relief Work Organiser. Jamaat has mobilised its resources in the affected areas, along with the cadre of Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) and Movement for Peace and Justice (MPJ). The relief work carried out so far includes providing food (bread, rice, pulse, vegetables, etc.), as well as medicine, etc. About Rs.10 lakh has been spent on the relief work so far.
Jamaat is working on a rehabilitation plan for the affected people. This includes providing financial assistance to restart their lost businesses, household utensils, bedding and blankets, clothing, medicines, educational material, etc. The estimated budget for the rehabilitation project is about Rs.50 lakh approximately.
Ameer-e-Halaqa has appealed to all people for generous contributions to the JIH’s relief and rehabilitation work for these flood-affected people. Contributions can be made at all offices of JIH throughout the state or in the bank account: Jamaat-e-Islami Hind – AP & Orissa Zone, Account # 3008831345, Central Bank of India, Chatta Bazar, Hyderabad.