In a shocking incident in Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, several people were feared drowned when a tourist boat capsized in the Godavari river on Sunday afternoon. Over 10 passengers were said to have been rescued, police sources said. Although the exact details of the mishap and the number of persons in the ill-fated boat were not immediately available, the Andhra Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy ordered all available ministers in the district to supervise the rescue works. Two National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams of 30 members each were sent for rescue operations.
The river has been in spate for the past few days, and over 5.13 lakh cusecs of floodwater was flowing on Sunday afternoon when the mishap occurred. The exact location where the tourist boat capsized was in Devipatnam in the East Godavari district. A total of 61 people were on-board at the time of the incident. The boat run by the Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation also consisted of 11 crew members apart from the 61 passengers.
In its first statement after the incident, East Godavari District Superintendent of Police Adnan Nayeem Asmi told PTI that they are trying to ascertain that more and more people can be rescued. The boat started off for the picturesque Papikondalu, a prime tourist destination, from Gandi Pochamma Temple near Devipatnam and it capsized near Kachhuluru, the sources said.
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Andhra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy ordered all available ministers in the district to supervise rescue works at the site of incident. The Andhra Chief Minister also directed officials to suspend all boating services in the region immediately. Additionally, State Chief Secretary L V Subrahmanyam spoke to East Godavari District Collector Muralidhar Reddy and enquired about the incident. The Chief Secretary also directed that a helicopter be pressed into service to trace the boat mishap victims. Police and other rescue teams have started off from East and West Godavari districts for the accident spot, sources added that the swollen state of the river is creating a problem in the rescue operation, official sources said.
The Andhra State Disaster Management Authority issued a first-level flood warning on Sunday for rising water levels. The Dowaleswaram, Polavaram, and Kunavaram reservoirs have been affected. Along with this, a second level flood warning has been issued in the state of Telangana in light of the rising water level in the Badhrachalam dam, as reported by ANI. In Kunavaram, the water level at 10 pm on Sunday was 39.18 meters, while the danger level is at 39.24 meters. While in Polavaram, the water level is at 27.78 meters.
(input from ANI)