Fear rises after Water Leaks from Cracks in Andhra’s Biggest Reservoir

Tirupati: The temple town of Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh has been flooded for four straight days now, with fresh fear around cracks developing in of the biggest water reservoirs in the state that’s located in the district. No fresh downpour has been reported but breaches on highways and other roads have cut off several villages that still remain inundated. Three airforce helicopters have landed at the Renigunta airport. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) forces have also arrived at Tirupati.

At Ramachandrapuram in Tirupati, some cracks developed in the bunds around Rayala Cheruvu, one of the oldest and biggest reservoirs in the state, and it started leaking leading to fears there could be a sudden deluge into the surrounding villages. Public warnings have been issued asking people to carry essential items, documents, and move to higher locations. “The bund is in danger of breaking. Please leave as soon as possible. Please leave the village. Please co-operate. Take your valuables and documents and leave. Inform your relatives. The bund is in danger of breaking. Please leave,” an official was heard announcing in the area.

District Collector Hari Narayanan, the district police, and revenue officials along with irrigation team officials have inspected the area and asked all downstream villages to be evacuated as a precautionary measure.

“This is the biggest tank in the district. It is a very old tank. There is a small leakage. So we don’t want to take any chances. So we are shifting villagers to safety,” Collector Hari Narayanan said.

“There is 0.9 TMC water in the reservoir. There is overflow. We have to be careful as so much water has never come into this water body and it was not built to take so much water. So downstream villages have been asked to vacate by the district administration,” special officer Pradyumna said.

“We are also talking to structural engineers to know if something can be done to prevent any break in the bunds,” he added.

In the Chittoor district, a large volume of water from upstream and from Tirumala Hills had led to the Swarnamukhi river going into spate, filling the reservoirs and causing flooding. The soil in the reservoirs has become hyper-saturated with water. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected areas of the state on Saturday morning.

At least 24 people have died in the state and many are reported missing in floods that affected the Rayalaseema region of the state. Several districts have suffered extensive damage after rains brought in by two depressions that developed in the Bay of Bengal lead to torrential flooding.

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