Unseasonal rains continue to lash Andhra, toll up to 15

Hyderabad, April 23 (IANS) Unseasonal rains accompanied by strong gales Tuesday continued to lash Andhra Pradesh, killing as many as 15 people and damaging crops over thousands of acres during the last three days.

The rains under the impact of freak weather phenomenon continued to lash several parts, throwing normal life out of gear in Hyderabad and outskirts. The roads in busy areas like Dilsukhnagar, Secunderabad, Khairatabad, Lakdi Ka Pul, Hayatnagar, Abids, Uppal, L.B. Nagar and Vanasthalipuram were inundated, causing long traffic jams.

The death toll rose to 15 with two more people being killed in lightning in the neighbouring Ranga Reddy district. Ten people were killed Monday and three Sunday.

The Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre has forecast more rains or thundershowers in all the three regions of the state over the next 24 hours.

Hailstorms battered some parts of Telangana. The strong winds uprooted trees, electricity and telephone poles and hoardings.

The rains have provided relief to people from scorching heat, especially in Kurnool and parts of Telangana and coastal Andhra, where the temperature had crossed 40 degrees Celsius. The temperature has come down by four to seven degrees in coastal Andhra and two to three degrees Celsius in Telangana.

The rains have caused huge losses to farmers, who bore the brunt of unseasonal showers early this month. Paddy, maize, sunflower and mango crops over 56,000 hectares were damaged.

It was double whammy for chilli farmers in Guntur district. They not only lost the crops but their stocks stored at Guntur Mirch Yard got soaked in the rain.

Officials said standing crops of paddy, maize and sunflower were submerged over 56,089 hectares in 14 districts.

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