Telangana rains: Flood-like situation in various districts; holiday declared for educational institutes

About 1,500 people were in a critical situation as Moranchapalli village in Jayashankar Bhupalpally district was submerged in flood water following heavy rains.

BySumit Jha

Published Jul 27, 2023 | 4:40 PM Updated Jul 27, 2023 | 4:41 PM

Telangana Rains:

As incessant rains lashed Telangana over the last two days — on 25 and 26 July — causing floods in several parts of the state, the government on Thursday, 27 July, declared a holiday for all educational institutes on Friday.

On 25 July, the state government declared a holiday for educational institutions for the next two days.

Telangana witnessed an unprecedented amount of rainfall, with Laxmidevipet in the Venkatapur mandal of the Mulugu district receiving the highest recorded rainfall of 618.5 mm in the last 24 hours.

This figure surpassed the previous record of 517.5 mm in Wazeed (Mulugu) on 19 July, 2013, based on rainfall data from 2004 to 2022.

The state’s average rainfall in the last 24 hours was 97.7 mm, a significant deviation of 1276 percent from the normal average of 7.1 mm.

Red alert for 10 districts

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for 10 districts, warning of heavy to very heavy rainfall and exceptionally heavy rain (more than 24 cm) at isolated places in the Nirmal, Nizamabad, Jagtial, Rajanna Sircilla, Karimnagar, Peddapalli, Vikarabad, Sangareddy, Medak, and Kamareddy districts.

An orange alert has been issued for several other districts, indicating the likelihood of heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places.

These districts include Adilabad, Komaram Bheem Asifabad, Mancherial, Jayashankar Bhupalapally, Mulugu, Bhadradri Kothagudem, Khammam, Nalgonda, Suryapet, Mahabubabad, Warangal, Hanumakonda, Jangaon, Siddipet, Yadadri Bhuvanagiri, Rangareddy, Hyderabad, and Medchal-Malkajgiri.

Moreover, a yellow alert has been issued for a few places in the Nagarkurnool, Wanaparthi, Narayanpet, and Jogulamba Gadwal districts, indicating the possibility of heavy rainfall.

Additionally, thunderstorms and lightning — accompanied by gusty winds (40-50 kmph) — are expected to occur over Telangana.

Residents have been urged to take necessary precautions and stay updated with official weather advisories to ensure their safety during this period of heavy rainfall and potentially adverse weather conditions.

Also read: Telangana, Andhra Pradesh among 22 states to get SDRF funds

Jayashankar Bhupalpally district submerged

Around 1,500 people were in a critical situation as Moranchapalli village in Telangana’s Jayashankar Bhupalpally district was submerged in floodwaters following heavy rains over the last three days.

With the Morancha stream overflowing, floodwaters entered houses in Moranchapalli, forcing its 1,500-odd residents to move to safer ground — on rooftops and even trees — while awaiting rescue.

Traffic on the Bhupalpally-Parkal National Highway was at a complete standstill due to the floods and at some places in the district, vehicles as big as lorries became submerged in the rising waters.

Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao said that State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams had been deployed with boats from Mulugu and Warangal to rescue those affected.

Authorities have requested Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who is monitoring the situation with the officials concerned, to arrange for helicopters for the rescue operations. However, the inclement weather has posed challenges, hindering helicopter movement at the moment.

According to unofficial reports, three villagers, including a woman, are missing in the floods. However, the authorities are yet to confirm this.

Also read: Telangana Congress postpones public meeting due to heavy rain

At 1.30 pm on 27 July, Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari said that following instructions from KCR, two Army helicopters were being sent to rescue people trapped in the Moranchapalli village of the Bhupalpally district.

On Twitter, Telangana DGP Anjani Kumar said that the Bhupalpally district police were trying to reach the critical areas. Superintendent of Police Pulla Karunakar and other officers are in touch with those in need of rescuing.

“All are safe. Rescue and relief operations are on the way,” he tweeted.

“These are testing times for all of us and the enthusiasm of police constables, officers led by seniors is praiseworthy. Senior officers from Multi Zone, IG CS Reddy, and IG Shahnawaz are also in the field, guiding and coordinating with SPs and other departments,” the DGP added.

Also read: Telangana: Orange alert issued for 10 districts 

Bhadradri Kothagudem situation

Meanwhile, 60 families in the Bhadradri Kothagudem district have been shifted to relief camps as low-lying areas became inundated at several places in Telangana.

DGP Anjani Kumar, who attended a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari, said that 60 families in two villages of the Cherla area in the Bhadradri Kothagudem district have been shifted to the camps, an official release said.

Low-lying areas became inundated in Warangal and other places in the state following the downpour.

Rivulets and other streams were in full spate, damaging roads and disrupting road links between villages in some places.

TV channels showed a woman being washed away while crossing an overflowing stream in the Bhadradri Kothagudem district.

The chief secretary directed the district collectors and police officers to step up vigil and be on high alert as the IMD warned of heavy rains in many parts of the state in the next 48 hours, the official release said.

She said measures should be taken to prevent loss of life or property.

Santhi Kumari warned that many projects, ponds, dams, and canals in the Godavari basin were already flowing at full water level, and that they were likely to overflow due to heavy rains in the next two days.

People in low-lying and flood-prone areas should be shifted to safer places, she said.

The collector of the Bhadradri Kothagudem district was directed to review the water levels of the Godavari River and take appropriate precautionary measures.

NDRF personnel have been stationed in various parts of the state and their services can be used in case of emergency.

Also Read: Red alert in 9 districts as rain fury returns to Telangana

Several districts impacted

The impact of the heavy rainfall was widespread across the state. Several districts experienced extremely heavy rainfall, with Jayashankar Bhupalpally, Mulugu, Hanamkonda, Warangal, Mahabubabad, Jangaon, Bhadradri Kothagudem, Karimnagar, Jagtial, and Adilabad being the most affected. These areas received rainfall exceeding 204.4 mm, causing severe waterlogging and flooding.

Many other districts faced very heavy rainfall, ranging from 115.6 mm to 204.4 mm, leading to water accumulation and posing potential risks. These districts include Adilabad, Komaram Bheem, Mancherial, Nirmal, Nizamabad, Rajanna Sircilla, Peddapalli, Siddipet, Yadadri Bhuvanagiri, Suryapet, Khammam, Jayashankar, Mulugu, Hanamkonda, Warangal, Mahabubabad, Jangaon, Karimnagar, Jagtial, and Wanaparthi.

Several areas across the state reported moderate rainfall, ranging from 15.6 mm to 64.4 mm.

Cumulatively, from 1 June to 27 July, the state’s average rainfall stood at 530.2 mm, up by 61 percent from the normal average of 329.3 mm.

In the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) area, the highest recorded rainfall was 62.9 mm in Kapra in the Medchal-Malkajgiri district.

From 1 June to 27 July, the GHMC area’s cumulative average rainfall was 419.5 mm, up by 59.6 percent from the normal average of 262.8 mm.

According to IMD inference, the well-marked area that was affecting the region has weakened into a low-pressure area over South Odisha and adjoining North Coastal Andhra Pradesh. The associated cyclonic circulation extends up to 7.6 km above mean sea level.

The rainfall forecast for the coming days indicates that most places in the state could expect light to moderate rain and thundershowers, with heavy to very heavy rain in a few places.

Some districts may even experience extremely heavy rainfall in isolated places.

The maximum temperature is likely to remain within a range of 30° C to 33° C, while the minimum will be 20-23° C.

Also read: Telangana: Red alert issued for 4 districts as state sees 1 death

Administration on alert

Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari on Thursday said that the state’s administration machinery had been put on alert as heavy rain continued.

The flood situation in the state is being constantly monitored in coordination with senior officials along with district collectors and superintendents of police, she said.

NDRF, SDRF, and Fire Service teams are ready to take up any rescue and relief measures in case of any emergency, an official release said.

A special control room to monitor the flood situation had been set up in the Secretariat. Three senior officials had been appointed in the control room and the situation is being constantly monitored, the chief secretary said.

Similarly, control rooms had been set up in all the collector offices in the districts.

Two NDRF teams each were in readiness in the Kothagudem and Hyderabad districts, while one NDRF team each was stationed in Mulugu and Warangal.

The Collector and SP of the Jayashankar Bhupalpally district are constantly in touch with the villagers of Moranchapalli and are monitoring the situation, the official release said.

In the temple town of Bhadrachalam, the water level of the Godavari River stood at 49.80 ft at 1 pm and a second flood warning was in force, said official sources.

The third and final flood warning would be issued if and when the water level reached 53 ft.

As there was every likelihood of the flood water reaching the third danger mark, steps were being taken to shift people living in low-lying areas to relief camps, the official release said.

Also read: Telangana rains lead to red alert for 4 districts 

Situation in GHMC

In the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) area, a similar forecast is predicted, with light to moderate rain and thundershowers expected in most places.

Some areas might experience heavy rainfall. The maximum temperature is expected to be 26°-28° C, while the minimum would be 21°-23° C.

GHMC Mayor Vijaya Lakshmi R Gadwal, who reviewed the rain situation with the city’s civic officials, directed them to identify areas that face threats of inundation and take steps to ensure that there is no problem there.

She asked the Kukatpally Zonal Commissioner to take measures to address the problems of residents at Gajularamaram where waterlogging was reported in several residential colonies, a GHMC release said.

She also asked the zonal commissioners to coordinate with traffic police officials and prevent problems in some areas where traffic issues are coming up.

Tourists rescued

As many as 160 tourists to a waterfall in the Mulugu district of Telangana, who were stuck in the forest area unable to cross an overflowing stream, were rescued safely by the NDRF and others in the early hours of Thursday.

The tourists had gone to the Muthyamdhara waterfall in the district on Wednesday and were stuck there as a stream was in spate, making it difficult for them to come out of the forest area, official sources said.

After receiving information about it, state Panchayat Raj Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Women and Child Welfare Minister Satyavathi Rathod, and Tourism Minister V Srinivas Goud spoke to the officials about rescuing the tourists.

NDRF personnel, the police, Forest Department officials, and others reached the tourists late on Wednesday.

The tourists were safely rescued and brought to the mandal headquarters village of Venkatapuram around 4 am on Thursday, a release from the tourism minister’s office said.

(With PTI inputs)