T’gana rains: Toll goes up to 70, govt on alert with fresh spell forecast

Hyderabad: As many as 70 people died in rain-related incidents during the past one week in the state, Telangana Minister KT Rama Rao said on Monday even as he requested people in low-lying areas of the city to evacuate and move to relief camps as the Met department predicted heavy rains in the next two days.

Speaking to the media, KTR, as Rama Rao is also known as, said the city received the second highest recorded rainfall after 1908, which forced the state government to relocate about 37,000 from low-lying areas to relief camps.

According to him, 33 people inGreater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and adjoining areas, and 37 people in districts have lost their lives.

Urging people living in low-lying areas to shift to safer places and government-run relief camps following the India Meteorological Department’s warning of insidious rainfall, the minister said thousands of people will be moved to the camps in the next two days.

“We will minimise the life loss or will zero down the life loss as much as we can. (There were) 33 (deaths) in GHMC (Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation) and about 37 (casualties) in districts. So, all together 70 people have lost their lives,” the minister told reporters.

He said, of the 33 casualties in the GHMC area, kin of the 29 deceased were compensated. A state government release on October 15 said the toll was 50 due to rain related incidents.

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“IMD (India Meteorological Department) has already warned us that there would be heavy rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms. We know exactly which areas would be inundated.

We are going to evacuate those colonies. We will go house by house and evacuate them. Thousands of people will be evacuated today, tomorrow and day after,” he added.

Rama Rao said the state government was in touch with the Army and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) tokeep helicopters on standby in case of requirement as the MET department forecast heavy rains in the next two-three days.

A fresh spell of heavy rains on Saturday night caused flooding on Sunday in parts of the cityafter it last week witnessed one of the worst deluges in recent times following unprecedented downpour in over a century.

“We were able to minimise…Yes, I agree things can be handled better and we will work out…We will certainly,” he said, adding the government has devised a strategy to evacuate people from all low-lying areas, to begin with including from Musi river and water tanks adjoining areas.

The Telangana governmentin a preliminary estimate had pegged the losses at over Rs 5,000 crore caused due to the rains and floods.

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Reacting to a query, Rama Rao said aninterim report has been sent to the central government seeking release of Rs 1,380 crore assistance.

Though there was no response so far he expected a positive one.

“the union Home Minister has tweeted that they are monitoring the situation. We hope that they will respond positively…we will wait. I am sure they will be positive,” he said.

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