Unseasonal rain in Andhra kills 25, crops lost

Hyderabad, April 24 (IANS) The unseasonal rains that lashed Andhra Pradesh over the last four days have claimed 25 lives and damaged crops over 70,000 hectares, officials said Wednesday.

The deaths, almost all due to thunderbolts, were reported from 11 districts.

Guntur accounted for seven deaths; four people died in Nellore, three in Prakasam, two each in Warangal, Krishna and East Godavari and one each in West Godavari, Khammam, Adilabad, Visakhapatnam and Mahaboobnagar districts.

Twelve people were also injured in various rain-related incidents in three districts.

Parts of coastal Andhra Wednesday experienced rain, accompanied by strong gales.

The meteorological department has forecast more rains/thundershowers at a few places in the state over the next three days.

According to T. Radha, commissioner, disaster management, 1,121 houses were also damaged due to rains, thunderbolt, hailstorm and strong winds.

As per the preliminary estimates, crops over 46,290 hectares in 17 districts were damaged due to the freak weather prevailing in the state since April 9.

Paddy alone was damaged in over 38,397 hectares.

Other crops affected by unseasonal rains include maize, groundnut and sunflower.

Warangal, West Godavari and Nizamabad districts bore the brunt of crop loss.

The official said horticulture crops over 24,230 hectares were damaged in 15 districts.

The mango trees were badly hit, with the strong gales uprooting trees or causing flower and fruit drop over 21,586 hectares.

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