Hyderabad: Three people died in Andhra Pradesh after heavy rains lashed several parts of the state. The heavy downpour has damaged more than 20,000 hectares of standing crops in several districts.
The Indian Meteorological Department has forecast more rains in Adilabad, Warangal and Karimnagar over the next 24 hours. Two farmers died and six others were injured in Adilabad district of Telangana region when trees, uprooted by strong winds, fell on them.
A shepherd died in Warangal district in the same region. The sudden showers came as a shock to farmers as standing crops in several districts were badly damaged.
Adilabad, Warangal, Karimnagar, Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda districts were the worst hit with groundnut, pigeon pea, black gram, corn and mango crops damaged over hundreds of acres. Chilli and turmeric farmers also suffered huge losses in districts like Guntur, Krishna and Khammam, officials of the agriculture department said.
The heavy downpour also damaged cotton kept at various markets in Telangana districts. The cotton bags brought by farmers to the markets in Warangal and Mahabubnagar districts for sale were soaked in rains.
Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who is away in Delhi, spoke to Chief Secretary Minni Mathew over phone to review the situation. He directed her to depute officials for assessing the damages.
With the forecast of more rains over the next 24 hours, the chief minister directed the district collectors to be on alert to prevent loss of life and property. Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre has forecast rains in many places in Telangana and Rayalaseema regions and isolated rains in coastal Andhra.
(With Additional Inputs from IANS)