Roads submerged, airport operations disrupted: Heavy rains bring Tirupati to a standstill

The weather department has predicted more rainfall for Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu for Friday

FP Staff November 19, 2021 14:02:40 IST
Roads submerged, airport operations disrupted: Heavy rains bring Tirupati to a standstill

Flooding around the temple in Tirupati. ANI

A glance at social media will throw up visuals of people being stranded, auto rickshaws and parked two-wheelers being swept away.

For those who don’t know, these visuals are from Tirupati after heavy rains lashed Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district, causing massive flooding in many areas on Thursday.

As the area battles the floods, here’s all that we know about the situation.

Heavy rain lashes Tirupati

Heavy rains lashed Tirupati on Thursday, leading to massive flooding of low-lying areas and disrupting vehicular and air traffic.

According to India Meteorological Department, the downpour was a result of the low-pressure area in the Bay of Bengal.

The heavy rains resulting in flooding left the temple town without any electricity from 3 pm. Additionally, residents in some areas moved out of their homes, seeking safety.

Visuals on Twitter showed that in some places auto rickshaws and two-wheelers had been swept away. Some other visuals showed water gushing from the hill into the Kapileswara Swamy Temple at the foot of Tirumala Hills.

News reports stated that the Japali Anjaneya Swamy temple was inundated and pilgrims were left stranded owing to the heavy rains.

The Sri Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala was closed to devotees on Friday, owing to the unprecedented rainfall.

YV Subba Reddy, chairman of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam was quoted as telling News Minute, "There was a lot of water inside the temple last night, but we pumped it out. Things are better now. We have informed the devotees that the temple will remain closed due to the present circumstances.”

News agency PTI also reported that the two ghat roads leading to the Tirumala Hills were closed for traffic following the flood and landslides. The pedestrian stairway leading to the temple from Alipiri was also closed down.

The Tirupati International Airport at Renigunta was also inundated, which forced authorities to halt landings. An IndiGo flight from Hyderabad to Tirupati was diverted to Bengaluru. The Hyderabad-Tirupati Air India and SpiceJet flights were forced to return to the Hyderabad airport.

Officials react

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy held a review meeting on Thursday and instructed officials to arrange relief shelters and provide Rs 1,000 as a relief amount to those who stay at these shelters.

The chief minister also said that NDRF and SDRF teams should be deployed to carry out rescue and relief operations.

He also asked the Chittoor district Collector M Hari Narayanan to closely monitor the water levels and take required steps accordingly, as per a CMO release.

More rainfall expected

The IMD has predicted heavy rainfall for parts of Andhra Pradesh on Friday, including Anantapur and Kadapa districts.
In its weather bulletin at 7.30, they said, "The depression over southwest Bay of Bengal off north Tamil Nadu coast moved west northwestwards and crossed north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Puducherry and Chennai between 3 to 4 am on Friday."

“Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places [is] very likely over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and south interior Karnataka and heavy rainfall at isolated places over north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Telangana, coastal and north interior Karnataka,” it added.

With inputs from agencies

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