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Leakage from cracks in state’s biggest reservoirs in Tirupati scares citizens after rains 

The temple town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh has been flooded for four straight days now, with fresh fears around cracks developing in one of the biggest water reservoirs in the state that’s located in the district. 

No fresh downpour has been reported but breaches on highways and other roads have cut off several villages that still remain inundated. Three air force helicopters have landed at the Renigunta airport. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) forces have also arrived at Tirupati. 

At Ramachandrapuram in Tirupati, some cracks developed in the bunds around Rayala Cheruvu, one of the oldest and biggest reservoirs in the state, and it started leaking leading to fears there could be a sudden deluge into the surrounding villages. Public warnings have been issued asking people to carry essential items, documents, and move to higher locations. 

‘Danger of breaking’

“The bund is in danger of breaking. Please leave as soon as possible. Please leave the village. Please cooperate. Take your valuables and documents and leave. Inform your relatives. The bund is in danger of breaking. Please leave,” an official was heard announcing in the area.

District Collector Hari Narayanan, the district police, and revenue officials along with irrigation team officials have inspected the area and asked all downstream villages to be evacuated as a precautionary measure. “This is the biggest tank in the district. It is a very old tank. There is a small leakage. So we don’t want to take any chances. So we are shifting villagers to safety,” Collector Hari Narayanan said. 

“There is 0.9 TMC water in the reservoir. There is overflow. We have to be careful as so much water has never come into this water body and it was not built to take so much water. So downstream villages have been asked to vacate by the district administration,” special officer Pradyumna said. “We are also talking to structural engineers to know if something can be done to prevent any break in the bunds,’” he added.

Massive flooding

In the Chittoor district, a large volume of water from upstream and from Tirumala Hills had led to the Swarnamukhi river going into spate, filling the reservoirs and causing flooding. The soil in the reservoirs has become hyper-saturated with water.

Over 60 people have died in the state and many are reported missing in floods that affected the Rayalaseema region of the state. Several districts have suffered extensive damage after rains brought in by two depressions that developed in the Bay of Bengal lead to torrential flooding.

Dramatic visuals of a chopper carrying out rescue operations for 10 people stranded on a JCB excavator in the middle of torrential floods in Anantapur made news headlines on Saturday. 12 people who had taken shelter on top of three buses in the Rajampet Mandal of Kadapa district were not so lucky and couldn’t be rescued. They are feared dead. In Anantapur district, five people died in a house collapse.

The South Central Railways had cancelled 22 trains and diverted or partially cancelled multiple trains. The track between Nandalur and Razampet was damaged.

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Tejaswini Pagadala

Communications Consultant: TEJASWINI PAGADALA is an independent communications consultant. She has previously worked with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office as the Communications Officer where she has written English speeches for the CM, managed English media communication from the CMO and handled social media accounts of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and the Government.
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