Sandbags, diggers and evacuations as cracks appear in huge Indian dam

Construction workers piled up sandbags and used diggers to shore up a major dam in India on Thursday 25 November, after cracks were reported. Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area downstream after the biggest and oldest dam in Andhra Pradesh, Rayala Cheruvu near Tirupati, started to leak from two of its embankments. Hectic efforts are continuing to strengthen the embankments and release water from the reservoir to release pressure. The leakage came to light after the embankments eroded as a result of welling water on Sunday. Amid fear that a breach could trigger massive floods, the district administration ordered the residents of 18 villages to leave. The state has recently been hit by heavy rains and floods that have killed dozens and swelled its reservoirs, rivers and lakes.

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