Hyderabad Rains: Toll Soars To 32; Mandatory COVID-19 Test In Relief Camps

Heavy rains that lashed in Hyderabad and neighboring areas since Tuesday claimed 32 life (Telangana and Hyderabad together), making it the heaviest rainfall in the last 100 years. The incessant rain resulted in overflowing of lakes, tanks, rivers and streams, flood of low-lying areas, and road transport disruption.

The capital city of Telangana has so far reported at least 19 deaths. However, government sources said the toll could rise, given that several instances of people were washed away and not accounted for as yet.

Great Hyderabad alone recorded 324.5 mm rainfall in just 24 hours, according to the Telangana State Development Planning Society. The state government declared a holiday for Wednesday and Thursday as the major areas got sub-merged. The government urged people to stay indoors, and several major universities like Osmania postponed their ongoing exams.

Rescue operations by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have begun in the highly water-logged area of Hyderabad and Rangareddy. So far, NDRF rescued 22 persons and evacuated more than 1,000 people. Due to the escalating situation on Wednesday evening, the Army joined the four NDRF team in a flood relief rescue operations.

For more than 12-24 hours, power blackouts were also faced across the state as the rain destroyed electricity poles. The power supply was stooped in other parts as a measure of precaution. This hit the IT hub hard as nearly 20 per cent of the techies lost broadband connections in the absence of power backup at home. Hyderabad’s IT sector has over 1,500 companies, employs almost 6 lakh people, and exports software worth over Rs 1.28 lakh crore. Nearly 95 per cent of these employees have been working from home since the pandemic struck India in March.

With the rising water levels, the administration decided to open up 13 out of the 17 gates of the Himayat Sagar water reservoir. It is open after a decade as the reservoir reached its full volume.

The destructive monsoon season is not only claiming lives and properties but also destroying this year’s harvest of agricultural rice paddies and other crops such as corn, cotton, and pulses.

Incidents and videos of people and properties being washed away in flood and wall collapse were reported from multiple areas. All 14 districts of Telangana and the eastern part of Andhra Pradesh are affected.

Hyderabad has a joint capital status of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Heavy rain was also reported in Mumbai, north Karnataka and other parts of south India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured all possible help from the Center to both the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh while conversing with the respective chief ministers.

Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted that the Ministry of Home Affairs closely monitors the situation and would provide all assistance to the states.

The president also declared that the nation stands united with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The Indian meteorological department (IMD) recently issued a yellow alert for Hyderabad and indicated that the deep depression wave moves towards Maharashtra and Karnataka. South Odisha has been battling with heaving rainfall for days, leading to water-logging in several parts of the state. Mumbai, as of Wednesday nights, started experiencing heavy rainfall and lightning. According to the weather department, the city is expected to face heavy rain today.

With the fear that flood relief camps set up across Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) limits will turn into Covid-19 hotspots, the Health Department has made it mandatory to run Coronavirus tests across camps.

Nearly 30 relief camps are being set by the Hyderabad DMHO and three by Rangareddy DMHO in rain-affected areas of Rajendranagar, Chandrayangutta, Chaderghat, Saroornagar, Diksukhnagar, and others.

These camps will be equipped with prophylaxis drugs to prevent floodwater-related infections. According to Hyderabad DMHO, each of these camps will have at least one doctor and one lab technician to assist people.

The city police have warned people to be careful while moving on roads as buildings are seen collapsing following the downpour.

Telangana CM Chandrashekar Rao has called for an emergency high-level review meeting today at 3 pm on the state’s heavy rain and flood situation. All officials concerned asked to be present. Centre has asked a report to be submitted regarding losses due to the flood.

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