Hyderabad: With weather forecasters issuing a warning of more rains in and around Hyderabad, the state government has asked the administration to remain on high alert and evacuate people from low lying and flood prone areas.
“This is once in a hundred year phenomenon when Hyderabad records such an extremely heavy rain”, said the state’s municipal administration minister K Taraka Rama Rao. He confirmed that 33 people died in and around Hyderabad in rain related mishaps and three more were missing.
Monday was yet another day of panic and fear in the city as thick clouds darkened the sky every now and then and intermittent rains in different parts of the city kept the people on tenterhook, specially in already devastated areas of old city.
Even before the city of 10 million population could recover from the repeated blow of extremely heavy rain fall over the last one week, Indian Meteorological Department has warned of heavy to very heavy rains over the next two days and thunder storms over Andhra Pradesh and Telangana over the next five days.
Low pressure area
IMD officials said that a fresh low pressure area was formed over Bay of Bengal and it was likely to develop into a well marked low pressure area over the next 24 hours. This may cause more rains over Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Unprecedented rains of up to 40 cms and consequent breaching and over flowing of tanks flooded 1500 colonies in different areas of the city and left 30,000 families homeless. There was some respite from rain on Sunday but occasional drizzle continued affecting the relief and rescue operations.
Disaster Relief Force used boats to rescue people from flooded buildings and houses. The flood hit areas of Chandrayangutta specially Baba Nagar and Omar Colony presented a picture of total devastation with debris of collapses and damaged houses, heaps of garbage, mounds of mud with some cars buried here and there. “We have never seen such devastation in our life”, said 69-year-old Syed Habeebuddin, a resident of Omer Colony.
Minister Taraka Rama Rao, who held a review meeting with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation officials including along with Mayor Bontu Rammohan said that what Hyderabad witnessed was the second worst flooding in hundred years. “In 1908 during the worst floods in Musi, Hyderabad had received 43 cms of rains. While the average annual rainfall of the city is 78 cms but this year the city has received 80% excess rains and recorded 120 cms of rainfall. The floods in 1908 had caused great devastation in the city killing 15,000 people.
“There was a possibility of heavy to very heavy rains over the next three to four days”, he said asking the officials to remain alert.
He said the entire administration was busy in the relief and rescue operation and the government had already spent Rs 600 million and another Rs 60 billion will be spent to restore normal life.
18 boats were already deployed for rescue and another 30 boats were coming from the nighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, he added.
Purana Pul closed to the traffic
A bridge built parallel to the historic Purana Pul over river Musi was also damaged by the intensity of the floods and after cracks were noticed on one of its pillars the authorities closed it to the traffic.
However the 400 odd years old Purana Pul constructed even before the foundation of Hyderabad City was laid in 1591 by Quli Qutub Shah was still safe and sound. The historic bridge was the first link between Golconda city and the area across the Musi, which later became Hyderabad. The river Musi was in spate since the authorities lifted 14 gates of Himayat Sagar reservoir. The water was also flowing over the causeways at Chadarghat and Moosaram Bagh hitting the traffic badly. It was after 20 years that Musi was in spate.
Doppler Radar in Hyderabad non functional
Meanwhile in a big set back to the advance rains warning system, Doppler Radar in Hyderabad was out of order as the authorities had taken up annual preventive maintenance work. The weather authorities were now using a similar radar at Machhlipatnam in Andhra Pradesh to gather information about the exact situation of weather and cloud movement. The absence of local radar will affect the accuracy of the forecast, officials said.