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With Hyderabad recording its second highest annual average rainfall since 1916 and weather officials predicting more heavy rains, the State government is taking up all possible measures to prevent the loss of life and to intensify relief activities, MA&UD Minister KT Rama Rao said. Such cloudbursts and heavy rainfall would flood any city in the world, he added.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday, the Minister said with two more months to go, there was every possibility of this year ending up in the record books as the one that received the highest rainfall in Hyderabad’s history. The city had received its highest rainfall of 142 cm in a year in 1916 while the average rainfall recorded this year so far was 120 cm — against the regular average of 78 cm.

“When there is such a cloudburst, even global cities get flooded. Similar situations prevail in Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and even Dallas and New York. Nothing much can be done,” Rao said, countering criticism from a few quarters on social media on the prevailing conditions in the city and pointing out that urban flooding was an emerging concern world over.

As for the precautionary measures being put in place, the Minister said 80 special officers had been deployed in GHMC and neighbouring municipalities for taking up rescue and relief measures. “These officials would be monitoring relief measures for the next 15 days,” he said. Since there was a need for more boats to shift residents to safer places, 30 of them were being arranged from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Currently, the GHMC had nearly 20 boats and the additional 30 would arrive by Monday evening. Stating that Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had specifically instructed to initiate measures to prevent the loss of life as damaged property could be recovered or compensated, the Minister said till date, 33 persons had lost their lives due to heavy rains in the GHMC and neighbouring municipalities.

An ex gratia of Rs 5 lakh each was given to 29 families with processing on for the remaining four. Three persons were still missing, he said.

Since 80 colonies across the GHMC limits were still inundated and more rains expected during the next three days, all other operations and services had been suspended in the GHMC, Rama Rao said, adding that priority would be to evacuate as many people as possible from low-lying areas to relief camps.

The Minister also appealed to all residents in low-lying areas and those staying on first and second floors in such areas to shift to relief camps immediately and not to put their lives at risk.



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