India

India: Monsoon fury abates in Andhra, Kerala

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HYDERABAD/THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The monsoon fury abated on Sunday after leaving a trail of destruction in the worst-hit Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, where 68 people have died and more than 3 lakh people were driven out of their homes.

Andhra chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy cancelled leaves of officials after the state administration faced the mammoth task of providing relief to the 3,31,729 people affected in the rains.

Reddy said 38 people were killed in rain-related incidents and seven were still missing. "Relief measures are being taken up on a war-footing. Officials will not be granted leave till the situation eases," Reddy said.

Even as the rain gods showed some mercy on Sunday, the CM had to face people's fury in Kurnool, as they poured scorn on lax officials for failing to come to their rescue in the aftermath of the flash floods of Hundri river in the district.

Admitting that the administration was not geared up to cope with the flood situation, Reddy, who conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected areas, said the rain in Kurnool was unprecedented. He announced financial relief to the flood-affected--Rs 4,000 for fully damaged houses, Rs 3,000 for partially damaged houses and Rs 2,000 to those whose houses were submerged in floodwaters.

Women in Budhawarpet, Krishna Nagar, Mahatma Nagar and other areas tried to stop the CM's convoy at several places. They said that they were not provided shelter or food even after 24 hours of floodwaters entering their houses.

In Kerala, people heaved a sigh of relief on Sunday as the heavy downpur that inundated the state in the last two days and claimed 30 lives, briefly abated and the cloudy weather gave way to clear skies.

The administration, however, was not taking any chances and is closely monitoring the situation. The government has announced Rs 50,000 each to the kin of deceased and free rations for the displaced families.

Revenue minister K P Rajendran said the government had set apart Rs 3.15 crore for disaster relief in the aftermath of the monsoon tragedy.

Reports from across the state, however said, thousands of people have been affected to temporary shelters.

In coastal areas, the sea still continues to be rough and seafarers have been warned against venturing into the stormy waters. Most of the rivers were flowing above the danger mark.