The swollen Godavari river inundated several 'lanka' (island) villages in East and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh on Saturday and severed road communication links even as the government deployed the State Disaster Response Force to handle any emergency.
Authorities raised the first warning signal as 11.21 lakh cusecs of floodwater reached the Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage at Dowaleswaram near Rajamahendravaram.
The entire floodwater was being discharged into the Bay of Bengal as the Cotton barrage was filled to the brim (2.93 tmc ft) by Saturday afternoon. With copious rains in its catchment, Godavari has been receiving heavy inflows since Friday.
The second warning is also expected by Sunday morning as the flood level may cross 13 lakh cusecs. "We have alerted the authorities concerned to take all precautionary measures along the river course in view of the flood flow.
Two teams of SDRF are positioned at Rajamahendravaram to attend to any eventuality while NDRF teams have also been kept on standby," Andhra Pradesh Disaster Management Commissioner KKanna Babu said.
He told PTI that vulnerable people in the affected villages were being moved to safety in view of the rising flood. He asked people not to travel in the river on boats nor go for bathing and swimming. Devipatnam mandal in East Godavari district remained cut off due to the flood in Godavari.
The Chakalipalem causeway in P Gannavaram constituency got inundated, cutting off the road network to many lanka villages. Vynateya, the Godavaris tributary, is also in spate,adding to the misery in the Konaseema area.
Downstream in West Godavari district, the river has been flowing over the Kotturu causeway, disrupting road communication to the island villages. The floodwater also entered the spillway channel at the Polavaram project site, hampering the construction work.
Meanwhile, the State Disaster Management Authority said heavy to very heavy rainfall was likely at isolated places in Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari districts in the next 48 hours under the influence of a well-marked low-pressure area over the northwest Bay of Bengal and associated upper level cyclonic circulation. Light to moderate to heavy rain has been forecast for many districts in the state till August 19. The SDMA said a fresh low-pressure area was likely to form over north Bay of Bengal around August 19.