An aerial view of the flood-affected areas in Godavari districts on Friday. (Photo by arrangement)
KAKINADA: The flood situation in Godavari worsened on a massive scale on Friday as 21,32,140 cusecs of excess water was discharged into the Bay of Bengal from the Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage at Dowleswaram by 8 pm.
The flood waters surrounded 554 villages in six districts --Alluri Seetharama Raju (350), Eluru (125), Konaseema (70), West Godavari (58) and East Godavari (2).
A 53-year-old ex-serviceman was missing in the Godavari waters at Pasarlapudi. The family members lodged a complaint with Mamidikuduru police.
Officials issued the third warning with the water levels touching 17.75 feet on Friday morning. Flood waters reached the Polavaram Project and the backwaters inundated the agency villages in Devipatnam and Polavaram mandals.
Many islet villages have been marooned fully or in part. Many families refused to leave their houses when stay was offered to them in rehabilitation centres. "We are used to the floods and would remain in our houses," they argued with officials.
Eluru collector Venkatesh oversaw supply of essential commodities to two villages -- Koida and Katkuru -- in Velerupadu mandal with help from two Navy helicopters. The disaster management special chief secretary Sai Prasad and its MD, BR Ambedkar were monitoring the situation from the control room.
The disaster management department expected that the flood level may reach 22 lakh to 23 lakh cusecs and it will affect 554 villages in 42 mandal across six districts. Additional forces like 8 NDRF and 10 SDRF teams reached these districts to take up rescue and relief works for the flood victims.
Some 20 mandals in Konaseema, eight mandals in East Godavari, five mandals in ASR, four mandals in West Godavari, three in Eluru and two mandals in Kakinada may be affected by the floods. The disaster management department has alerted all the collectors to take necessary steps to rescue the affected people.
An ex-serviceman, Palli Venkateswara Rao (53) of B Doddavaram village of Mamidikuduru mandal in Konaseema district, is missing. He worked as security guard at GAIL office at Pasarlapudi village, went for on Thursday. At night, he phoned his family members saying he would reach back home by crossing the floods. Later, his phone stopped responding to calls. He did not return to his house on Friday either. His son Kiran lodged a complaint with the Mamidikuduru police station.
Police said a search was on for locating the ex-serviceman.
The people who are residing in huts and tiled houses have been evacuated from their houses to the rehabilitation centres. But, those who are having two-storied buildings or houses on hills, have refused to leave their homes. Kothapeta MLA Chirla Jaggireddy visited Baduguvani Lanka village of Alamuru mandal along with officials by boat and urged the people to leave their homes. But, they refused to come out.
According to sources, police teams evacuated the people of 36 villages in Konaseema district with the support of revenue officials.
Eluru collector Venkatesh said nine villages were cut off in the district and 16 river bunds were weakened. All steps have been taken to face the floods.
Meanwhile, Islet villages in Konaseema like Paligudem, Lanka of Thanelanka, Arigelavari lanka, Buruguvari Lanka, Kanakayalanka and some other villages remained cut off.
The floodwaters entered the famous Balaji Temple at Appanapalli in Mamidikuduru mandal. Floodwaters surrounded the famous Veerabhadra Swamy Temple at Pattiseema near Polavaram. The Gandi Posamma temple in Gonduru village has been submerged in floodwaters.
The people in rehabilitation centres are facing hardships like lack of drinking water.