Flood toll mounts in Karnataka, Andhra

As the backlash of the late monsoon catches India unprepared yet again, the death toll from flooding in southern India rose to 222 today after days of torrential rain left vast tracts of land devastated and displaced millions of people, according to official figures.

The worst floods in the Krishna River in 100 years have caused widespread devastation in five districts of Andhra Pradesh, killing 49 people, rendering over 400,000 homeless and damaging crops over thousands of acres.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister K Rossiah estimated the preliminary damage due to the heavy rains and floods at Rs12,225 crore.

Highlighting the severity of the flood situation in the state, Rosaiah said some mandals in the districts of Mahabubnagar and Kurnool had a rainfall of over 30 cm in a day, leading to heavy inflows into major dam projects located in Krishna the basin, like Jurala, Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar, Prakasam barrage and Sunkesula.

The Srisailam project, which is designed to have an inflow of up to 13,60,000 cusecs received an inflow of more than 25,00,000 cusecs continuously for 12 hours. This is 'probable maximum flood' predicted once in 10,000 years.

By 3 October, the water level in Jurala, Srisailam and Sunkesula had crossed the 'maximum water level', resulting in the inundation of many villages located in the back waters, the chief minister said.