Heavy rains lashed Nellore, Chittoor and Kadapa districts on Friday under the influence of depression which crossed north Tamil Nadu and adjoining south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Puducherry and Chennai in the early hours of the day.

Low-lying areas in the three districts were inundated while rivulets, streams, tanks and reservoirs were overflowing. Several areas of the temple town of Tirupati remained flooded on Friday. While many pilgrims were left stranded in bus stations and schools which were turned into releif camps, residents in inundated areas were still waiting for water to recede. 

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The massive downpour has paralysed normal life. Authorities have declared a holiday for all educational institutions in the affected districts.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the depression over southwest Bay of Bengal crossed the coast between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., triggering heavy rains.

Andhra Pradesh's disaster management commissioner K. Kannababu said that widespread rains are likely in south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema. Few places are also likely to record heavy to very heavy rainfall.  Heavy rains since Thursday wreaked havoc in the temple town of Tirupati already, with thousands of pilgrims left stranded in shelter homes.

Winds at a speed of 45 to 65 km per hour are likely along the coast. Authorities have warned fishermen against venturing into the sea.

Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have reached Chittoor and Nellore district for rescue and relief operations. The disaster management commissioner Kannababu said people in low-lying areas had been asked to be alert.

Meanwhile, the state government has appointed three special officers to monitor rescue and relief operations in Nellore, Chittoor and Kadapa district.

Filephoto of heavy rainsIANS

Officials reached the respective districts on Thursday night to prepare for the relief efforts to  personally and supervise rescue operations in the wake of floods triggered by heavy rains. They will submit reports to the Chief Minister on the situation.

The government has deputed education secretary B. Rajasekhar to Nellore district, marketing commissioner Pradyumna to Chittoor district and another senior official Shashi Bhushan Kumar to Kadapa district.

(With inputs from IANS)