Cyclone Michaung devastates crops in south coastal Andhra

Tirupati: Heavy rainfall caused by Cyclone Michaung has resulted in widespread devastation of standing crops in south coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh.

The most-affected districts were Nellore, Tirupati and Chittoor, where standing paddy crops and horticulture plantations have suffered damage.

In Nellore district, paddy sown in 10,000 acres across various mandals including Kavali, Venkatachalam, Dagadarthi, Kovur, Alluru, Inamadugu, Thotapalligudur and Leguntapadu has been damaged. Groundnut cultivation in 50,000 hectares, along with green chilli, papaya and other vegetables in 250 hectares, faced inundation over the past two days.

Over 3,000 hectares of paddyfields in Tirupati district were submerged in Srikalahasti, Chittamur, Vakadu and Kota mandals. Horticulture crops, including banana and papaya, also suffered damage due to gusty winds in Yerpedu and other mandals in the district.

The extent of the losses is being assessed. District horticulture officer Dasaratharami Reddy stated, "Green chilli in 25 acres, banana plantation in 25 acres and papaya in 10 acres were damaged due to the cyclone. Officials would enumerate the losses in their respective areas."

The impact extends further in Tirupati district to expansive mango orchards spread across 55,000 acres, acid lemon plantations in 9,500 acres, green chilli in 850 acres, floriculture in 450 acres and vegetable crops covering 500 acres facing damage.

Chittoor district reported damage to crops in approximately 58 hectares. Preliminary reports from agriculture officer Murali Krishna said paddy cultivation was affected in 15,000 hectares and groundnut in 40,000 hectares across 29 villages under 13 mandals in the district.

Officials have started supporting farmers by aiding them in draining out floodwaters from the affected fields. They continue to evaluate the losses on the ground. Farmers have urged the state government to provide compensation for the losses vis-a-vis both standing crops and potential yields.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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