Resident tells of his horror as India flood death toll rises to 39

'No electricity, no food, no clothes, everything is gone. We have nothing'

Srinivaslu Konda and his 40-strong extended family spent more than two days trapped on the top floor of their home by the flash flooding that hit India's southern coastal regions on Friday.

Extreme weather killed at least 39 people and more than 20 are missing.

“I have never seen such a calamity in my life. I am shaken. I have few words to express what I have been through,” said Mr Konda, 48, a resident of Mandapally village in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh state.

“There is destruction everywhere, there are dead animals in front of my house,” he told The National.

Mr Konda said his family was surviving on food distributed by volunteers.

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There is no electricity, no food or clothes … everything is gone, we have nothing left
Srinivaslu Konda, resident of worst-hit district

“There is no electricity, no food or clothes … everything is gone, we have nothing left,” he said.

Kadapa was the worst-affected district when incessant rains caused by a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal moved inland on Friday, causing the worst floods in the region in nearly 30 years.

Mr Konda said he was not prepared for the ferocity of the flooding, which deluged his home in two metres of water.

“We live in a joint family. There were 40 to 50 people at the time. We all rushed to the third floor of the house to save our lives. The ground floor was completely flooded,” he said.

He described scenes of collapsed houses, uprooted trees, broken roads and streets littered with livestock carcasses after the rain eased on Saturday.

Nearly 250 houses in Mandapally and neighbouring villages in Kadapa were damaged or destroyed.

“My house is partially gone. One side of the compound wall is broken. There is sludge everywhere. It is a harrowing sight,” Mr Konda said.

“My sister’s house is completely wrecked.”

Andhra Pradesh authorities said at least 15 people died in Kadapa and eight in Chittoor district. Another six people were killed after their house in Ananthapur district collapsed on Sunday.

One police officer died during a rescue operation, the state government's spokesman said.

The situation in Rayalaseema region, which recorded as much as 24 centimetres of rainfall on Friday, remained grim, with nearly 31,000 people in government-run relief camps.

At least nine people were killed in neighbouring Tamil Nadu state, when their house in Vellore district collapsed after heavy rains on Friday. Fourteen people had already died in heavy rains that have battered the state since early November.

The north-east monsoon, which brings rain to India’s southern states between October and December, has been heavier than usual this year. Tamil Nadu reported a rainfall excess of more than 65 per cent for the month of November.

In October, heavy rain and flash floods in Kerala state killed more than 40 people.

Updated: November 22nd 2021, 6:54 PM
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