HYDERABAD: At least 23 people were killed in Telangana on Wednesday after a deep depression passed over the state, unleashing heavy rain and widespread destruction. Heavy rain was reported in Andhra Pradesh,
and south Odisha.
Telangana’s capital city Hyderabad bore the brunt of the heavy downpour with
, especially in the Old City, turning into virtual rivers. As the situation turned critical, the Army was called in to help in rescue and relief operations.
The city reported at least 18 deaths, but government sources said the toll could rise given that there were a number of instances of people being washed away and not accounted for as yet.
Officials said at least eight people got washed away in swirling waters and were missing till late Wednesday evening. In one incident, a person in Barkas area of Old City was caught on camera getting washed away in rain water at high speed on the city road. The video went viral and was later rescued by police with the help of locals.
Hyderabad was cut off from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, with access becoming difficult on the national highways connecting Vijayawada and Bengaluru. Many parts of Hyderabad did not have electricity for 12-24 hours. This hit the city’s IT sector hard as nearly 20% of the techies lost broadband connections in the absence of power backup at home. Hyderabad’s IT sector has around 1,500 companies, employs nearly 6 lakh people and exports software worth over Rs 1.28 lakh crore. Nearly 95% employees of all IT companies in the city have been working from home since the pandemic started in March.
Wednesday went down as the rainiest day in the history of
, as the city received a month’s rain on a single day, bringing life to a crippling halt. The city and its outskirts recorded 324.5 mm rainfall in just 24 hours, according to the Telangana State Development Planning Society.
“Since the deep depression was centered over Hyderabad, it led to torrential rains. But it was unprecedented as our observatory has never witnessed such a high amount of rainfall in October,” said Naga Ratna, in-charge director, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
In Andhra Pradesh, heavy rains triggered by the deep depression left behind a trail of destruction in several coastal districts with scores of villages going under water. As many as 98 villages in Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari and Krishna districts remained under flood water for the second day.
In north Karnataka, heavy rain over Monday and Tuesday flooded roads and fields, destroyed crops and damaged houses. A 70-year-old woman died in Gadag district on Wednesday as her house collapsed.
Rain in Telangana also led to heavy discharge into
rivers, with all major dams in the Cauvery and Krishna basins brimming and their floodgates opened once again. Kalaburagi, Yadgir and Bidar were the worst hit, officials said.
Heavy rain continued to batter south Odisha for the third consecutive day on Wednesday leading to water-logging in several areas, with Ganjam and Gajapati districts being the worst affected.
IMD retained yellow warning (heavy rainfall) for nine districts till Friday. “The depression over Telangana has moved further west-northwards and has no direct impact over Odisha. However, due to an upper air trough and prevailing wind pattern, thunderstorm activity with isolated heavy rain in some districts is likely to occur till Friday,” an IMD bulletin said.
(With inputs from Bengaluru and