Vontimitta (Kadapa): Severe weather conditions played a spoiled sport at Vontimitta where the state government planned to organize Sita Rama Kalyanam at Kodanda Rama Swamy temple in connection with ongoing Sri Rama Navami festivities. Two devotees in the village died when sheds collapsed close to the dais and their identity is still be confirmed. Even though the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam made elaborate arrangements for the Celestial Wedding, sudden precipitation with catastrophic winds, lightning, hailstorm couple with heavy rains devastated the environs in the evening on Friday.
Devotees in huge number thronged the Kalyanam place on Friday evening and suddenly gale winds coupled with hailstorm started at 6.15 pm and continued till 6.45 pm where trees and electric poles uprooted, sheds collapsed, and hardly there was no safe place to take shelter for thousands of people due to disastrous winds and hail. Majority people received injuries and children were found to be missing in the chaotic circumstances.
The similar situation prevailed close to the temple where devotees were offering prayers. Sudden outage of power made them panic failing to identify the way to escape and there were no strong structures even to save them from gale winds and hailstorm. Even media people who were taking shelter under a shed received injuries owing to sudden collapse and also flying objects in the area. RTC made arrangements for shifting the suffering devotees to other parts of the district as part of immediate measures.
Chief Minister who arrived Kadapa at 5.45 pm to offer celestial attires for Kalyanam at 8 pm had to confine to the guest house there as the security staff warned him not to move during thunderstorm. Since the officials made only temporary arrangements for performing Kalyanam, the chief minister has been warned not to venture into the unexpected cloudburst who would face a difficult situation