VIJAYAWADA/SRIKAKULAM: Heavy rains triggered by Cyclone Gulab have caused damage to various standing crops in more than 1.56 lakh acres in six districts of the State. The cyclone toll rose to three with one more death reported from Visakhapatnam on Tuesday, September 28, 2021.
Agriculture Minister K Kanna Babu said the three North Andhra districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam, and also the twin Godavari districts and Krishna bore the brunt of the cyclone. As per the preliminary estimates, crops in 1,56,756 acres in 169 mandals of the State were damaged and around 6,800 farmers had suffered loss.
Paddy crop was the worst affected, followed by maize and other crops. Horticulture crops in 7,207 acres were also ravaged. Officials have been appointed to oversee the enumeration of crop loss. The district collectors have been directed to hold Agri-Advisory Committee meetings to ascertain the crop loss accurately. “As announced by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, the State government will come to the rescue of every cyclone affected farmer,” Kanna Babu asserted.
The incessant rains lashing the agency areas of Visakhapatnam district had disrupted normal life. Kurma Rao (22) of Matsyapuram, died when he accidentally fell into a stream in Hukumpeta mandal on Monday night. His body was retrieved from the stream on Tuesday.Srikakulam received rains for the third consecutive day on Tuesday, inundating several low-lying areas in Vangara and Burja mandals.
Though the intensity of rainfall declined by the evening, flash floods in Nagavali and Suvarnamukhi have become a cause for concern for the official machinery. Kondachakara Palli, Koppara and Geethanapalli villages in Vangara mandal were marooned due to flash floods of Suvarnamukhi. SDRF teams, police and revenue officials rushed to the villages to take up relief and rehabilitation measures. The flood victims were temporarily rehabilitated in government buildings.
Food and drinking water were distributed to about 1,500 people in the three flooded villages. Visakhapatnam Range DIG LKV Ranga Rao, Srikakulam District Collector Shrikesh B Lathkar and SP Amit Bardar visited the flood-affected villages to oversee relief measures. Allina, Narayanapuram, Gangampeta, China Lankam, Peda Lankam, Guttavalli, Khakandyam and Neelampeta villages in Burja mandal, Nimmatholada, Belamam and Loddalapeta in Amudalavalasa and Boddepalli and Modalavalasa in Ponduru adjacent to Nagavali were affected due to flash floods. An ambulance carrying the body of a deceased person was stranded in flood water at Annavaram on its way to Allina. Locals shifted the body in a tractor.
Speaking to TNIE, Vangara tahsildar Izak said the flood-affected people of the three villages were shifted to rehabilitation centres. “We are providing food and drinking water to them. We are on high alert along with two SDRF and police teams to face any eventuality. Power supply was restored by Tuesday evening. People need not panic as the official machinery is constantly monitoring the flood situation,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, the water level in Godavari at Polavaram is on the rise following heavy inflows from the upstream.
Losses incurred by Cyclone Gulab
1,56,756 acres Extent of crops damaged
1,16,823 acres Paddy crop
21,078 acres Maize crop
7,207 acres Horticulture crops
6,800 No. of farmers affected