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Coastal Andhra on alert as cyclone ‘Gulab’ set to make landfall

Cyclone Warning Centre Visakhapatnam warned that tidal wave of about 0.5 m height above the astronomical tide likely to inundate low lying areas of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Ganjam districts during the time of landfall

IANS | Visakhapatnam |

Andhra Pradesh’s coastal districts were on alert on Sunday as cyclonic storm ‘Gulab’ in Bay of Bengal is likely to cross north Andhra Pradesh-south Odisha coasts.

Authorities in north coastal Andhra districts were alerted to be prepared as the region is likely to experience heavy rains under the impact of the cyclone which is expected to make a landfall between Kalingapatnam and Gopalpur on Sunday evening.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued cyclone warning for north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts.

According to the IMD, ‘Gulab’ lay centred over northwest and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal about 270 km east-southeast of Gopalpur (Odisha) and 330 km east of Kalingapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).

It is likely to move nearly westwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh – south Odisha coasts between Kalingapatnam and Gopalpur around evening of 26 September, the IMD said.

Cyclone Warning Centre Visakhapatnam warned that tidal wave of about 0.5 m height above the astronomical tide likely to inundate low lying areas of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Ganjam districts during the time of landfall.

The cyclonic storm is likely to trigger heavy rains at one or two places over Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts over the next 24 hours. The IMD has issued red warning for these districts.

Heavy to very heavy fall at a few places very likely over East and West Godavari districts and Yanam. Heavy rainfall very likely to occur at one or two places over south coastal Andhra Pradesh, the IMD bulletin said.

Squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph likely to prevail along and off north Andhra Pradesh coast.

It will gradually increase becoming gale wind speed reaching 75-85 kmph gusting to 95 kmph from afternoon of September 26 till midnight along and off north Andhra Pradesh (Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts).

Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 65 kmph likely to prevail over remaining districts of coastal Andhra Pradesh.

As sea condition will be rough to very rough, fishermen have been advised not to venture into the rough waters till Monday.

Tidal wave of about 0.5 m height above the astronomical tide likely to inundate low lying areas of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Ganjam districts during the time of landfall.

Local cautionary signal- III was hoisted at Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram and Kakinada ports. Distant Warning Signal – II was hoisted at Machilipatnam, Nizampatnam and Krishnapatnam ports.

Strong winds and very heavy/extremely heavy rainfall are likely to damage thatched huts, cause minor damage to power and communication lines due to breaking of branches and uprooting of trees, major damage to Kutcha and minor damage to pucca roads, some damage to paddy crops, banana, papaya trees and orchards, sea water inundation in low lying areas after erosion of Kutcha embankments, localized flooding of roads, inundation and water logging in low lying areas and closure of underpasses mainly in urban areas of the region.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy held a review meeting on the preparedness in wake of cyclone alert and directed the officials to take all necessary steps.

The officials informed the Chief Minister that they have alerted district collectors and suggested to take all necessary steps.

They said control rooms were setup village secretariat wise and added that they have readied disaster management staff in Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam districts.

The district collectors are taking steps to setup relief camps at required locations, the officials said.

The Chief Minister directed the officials to be alert and take necessary steps as there are chances of heavy rains after cyclonic storm crosses the coast.