News Flash – 17 August 2019

National News



High Alert: Special Vigil at Schools, Malls and Hotels



Bengaluru: City police were put on high alert on Friday, with commissioner Bhaskar Rao sending a special memo to additional commissioners, joint and deputy commissioners, detailing the special arrangements needed to maintain vigil in Bengaluru. But police refused to share details of specific threats. Among places to have heightened security are high-end schools, malls, star hotels, markets with high footfall, besides Vidhana Soudha and Vikas Soudha, high court, bus, railway and Metro stations. “PG hostels, service apartments, accommodation near religious places should be checked. There must be area domination from the beat to division levels and all officers should be continuously available at important places. Night-round officers should check all vehicles at borders and detain suspicious ones,” Rao’s memo read. Besides, the cops have been instructed to post pickets, ensure all CCTV cameras are working and set up check posts at important locations. Although police did not specify any threats they’d received, Rao’s memo came minutes after high alert was sounded across security bases in Jammu and Kashmir against a possible attack from terrorist groups. This alert was freshly issued on Friday and wasn’t the general one sounded ahead of Independence Day.



MIM Corporators son booked for assaulting Hospital Security Guard



Hyderabad: Banjara Hills police have booked a case of assault against the son of an AIMIM corporator from Old City and his in-laws for allegedly attacking the staff of a corporate children’s hospital in Banjara Hills. The police have also invoked Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Institutions (prevention of violence and damage to property) Act, and arrested one of the five accused, identified as Rafi, and sent him to judicial remand. On the night of August 14, a group comprising Taha Quadri son of MIM corporator Pathergatti Division Syed Sohail Quadri Rafi, Aslam and others visited Rainbow Children’s Hospital, and insisted to see a child patient admitted there after the visiting hours. When the security staff of the hospital objected to this, the five persons assaulted one of the security guards, and created nuisance at the hospital. The hospital staff immediately alerted the Banjara Hills police. “After analysing the CCTV footage, we have registered a case and arrested an accused in the assault case, further investigation is underway,” said sub-inspector K Uday. The police have registered a case under IPC Sections 448 (trespass), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 452 (house-trespass), and 147 (rioting).



Pulichintala Brims with Heavy inflows, AP Villages on Alert

A man moves to a safer place with his belongings after houses were submerged in flood water at Tarakarama Nagar in Vijayawada.



Amaravati: With water being released from Pulichintala project, riverbank villages in Krishna and Guntur districts are gripped with panic and several residential colonies in Vijayawada also face the fear of flooding. Inflow at Prakasam Barrage jumped from 4.5 lakh cusecs to 7 lakh cusecs on Thursday, leading to inundation of several island villages. Flood threat is expected to increase by Friday night with outflow from Pulichintala likely to reach 8.5 lakh cusecs. The irrigation department issued a second warning at Prakasam Barrage and vehicular movement on the barrage was suspended. The authorities are evacuating people from low-lying areas and about 30,000 people are likely to be moved to relief centres. Chief secretary LV Subramanyam took stock of the situation with district collectors and asked them to constantly monitor the situation. He asked the district collectors to use police force if needed to shift people to safer locations. Meanwhile, APSRTC suspended services between Vijayawada and Amaravati due to flooding of major roads. Rivulets and streams in the region are also filled to the brim and have snapped road connectivity between several villages.



Flood water entered many tribal villages of Atchampet, Krosure, Amaravati, Tadikonda, Thullur and Tadepalle mandals. About 20 villages in Pedakurapadu, Tadikonda, Mangalagiri and Repalle constituencies are facing severe flood threat. With water entering riverbank villages in Jaggaiahpet and Nandigama mandals, authorities have asked locals to move out to higher places immediately. Nandigama legislator Mondithoka Jaganmohan Rao toured some island villages and urged residents to move to flood relief centres. Situation is likely to turn worse with Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar projects almost reaching their Full Reservoir Level (FRL). With no let-off from the inflow at Srisailam, all water received at the project is being pumped out through the crest gates. Nearly 8.6 lakh cusecs of water from Srisailam project was let out as the water level touched 881ft against the FRL of 885ft. While the inflow at Nagarjuna Sagar was reported at 8.15 lakh cusecs, the entire quantum is being released downstream. Agriculture mission vice chairman MVS Nagireddy said government was taking all precautionary measures. He said outflow from Pulichintala might go up to 10 lakh cusecs.



10km Tall Cloud Hanging Over City brings Blinding Rain & Destruction

Intense downpour blurs the skyline and drastically reduces visibility late on Friday afternoon.



Kolkata: Monsoon 2019’s first heavy downpour in Kolkata left the city with that familiar sinking feeling, leaving a trail of deaths, inundating both city-centre and outlying neighbourhoods and stalling traffic all over the city. A huge mass of cloud, 8-10km in height and 26-30km in width, poured 99mm of rain on Kolkata in the three hours between 2.30pm and 5.30pm on Friday; Dum Dum got 56mm and nearby Salt Lake 26mm from the cyclonic circulation over south Bengal and adjoining Bangladesh. Evening came early as the cloud build-up and the blinding rain blocked out the sun entirely, slowing down traffic substantially and forcing drivers to switch on headlights from around 2.15pm. Weather officials promised that the trend would not change for the next 48 hours and this would substantially reduce Kolkata’s current monsoon deficit of 44%. The high-intensity shower that came at the end of a dry and humid morning caught the city by surprise. “A cyclonic circulation formed across south Bengal and Bangladesh and was aided by clouds that formed over East Midnapore, Howrah and Hooghly. These clouds converged with the circulation, turning it extremely powerful. The rain was accompanied by frequent lightning strikes,” Regional Meteorological Centre director G K Das said. Systems forming over south Bengal are more potent than those originating over the Bay of Bengal that affect Odisha and the coastal districts of Bengal.



Adding to its potency on Friday was the incursion of moisture from the monsoon trough passing though the region. “This circulation had formed closer to the city and so hit Kolkata hard. This is the season’s first heavy monsoon shower and may be followed by more since the system persists in south Bengal. We expect showers across the region, including Kolkata and the western districts of the state,” Das said. It was around 2.15 pm on Friday when the gigantic cloud mass gathered over Kolkata. It struck the city and the neighbouring districts of Howrah, South and North 24 Parganas, Hooghly and East Midnapore with massive intensity, resulting in a blinding spell of rain that rarely lost in intensity for the next two-three hours. Kolkata, so far, missed heavy showers this season because of weak circulations and low-pressure formations over areas far from the city; at other times, they have moved in directions that have restricted rainfall over the city to drizzles. “But the trend seen on Friday will not change for the next 48 hours. Entire south Bengal should receive heavy rain under the influence of the circulation that has travelled west but continues to remain potent. We expect frequent showers on Saturday,” said Das. Weather officials say a few more similar spells can wipe out Kolkata’s rain deficit before the end of August, which is anyway Kolkata’s wettest month.

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