Friday, December 31, 2010

Successive calamities in Andhra Pradesh leave trail of despair

Deccan Chronicle (India): For the first time the state was hit by four major calamities in a single year. In 2010, two successive cyclones, Laila and Jal, a depression and subsequent heavy rainfall left a trail of death and destruction of property and crops.

A total of 171 persons died — 22 during Cyclone Laila, 65 during the Southwest monsoon, 63 during Cyclone Jal and 21 due to the depression, heavy rainfall and floods from May to December this year. After the rains, an unprecedented cold wave swept across the state, plummeting night temperatures down to 4-5°C at some places. In 2010, the total loss to crops, horticulture, animals, property, handloom industry, roads, irrigation, power, health, and other sectors has been estimated at a staggering Rs 9373.12 crore. If one adds last year’s Kurnool flood damage of Rs 11,707.85 crore, the total damage comes to a whopping Rs 21,080.97 crore in just two years.

On the positive side, however, all major irrigation projects, tanks and other water resources are full. Ground water levels have gone up and the state many not face a water crisis next summer. “The weather condition in the state has been quite abnormal in 2010. The state has passed through one of the most difficult times. For the first time, we faced two major cyclones — Laila and Jal — one depression and one heavy downpour during the Southwest monsoons,” Mr K. Surendra Mohan, special commissioner of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA), Revenue Department told this newspaper.

He added, “This devastation is attributed to climate change, which has not only affected environment in India, but also the world.” According to the SDMA estimates, total funds required for rescue, relief, temporary and permanent restoration for the destruction after the Kurnool floods in September/October 2009 is Rs 11,707.85 crore, for Laila in May 2010 it’s Rs 1,357.42 crore, for the heavy rains/floods during the Southwest monsoon from June to September 2010 it’s Rs 5,222.44 crore, for the heavy rains, floods and Jal cyclone from October 29 to November 8 `1,585 crore is required and for the heavy rains and floods due to depression in December 2010, Rs 1,207.72 crore is needed….

Tropical Cyclone Laila (01B) over India in May, 2010

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