Visakhapatnam: Heavy rains lashed north coastal Andhra Pradesh under the impact of cyclonic storm ‘Gulab’ which has weakened into a deep depression after crossing Andhra-Odisha coast, officials said on Monday.
North coastal district of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts were experiencing heavy downpour accompanied by strong winds since Sunday night. Heavy rains inundated low-lying areas and trong winds with speed reaching 40-60 kmph uprooted trees and electricity poles in the coastal districts.
Authorities remained on high alert to undertake rescue and relief operations in the affected areas. Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have already reached the north coastal Andhra. Naval ships and aircraft are on standby for rescue and relief operations in the areas likely to be affected by the cyclone.
Deputy Chief Minister Dharmana Krishna Das along with officials visited some affected areas in Srikakulam district. He directed officials of all departments to remain alert in view of the heavy rains. Heavy rains also lashed Visakhapatnam city and several parts of the district. Water stagnation on roads snapped connectivity to some villages.
Chief Secretary Adityanath Das, who rushed to Visakhapatnam on Sunday night, reviewed the rescue and relief operations in the cyclone-affected areas. He spoke to Srikakulam and Vizianagaram district collectors over phone and enquired about the measures taken to deal with the situation.
Electricity supply to the entire Srikakulam district was disrupted due to heavy rains and strong winds. Officials said out of six fishermen who were reported missing, five have returned safely while search was on for the one missing.
Authorities in Srikakulam district shifted 1,500 people from low-lying areas to 30 relief camps. Control rooms have been set up in offices of district collector and district police superintendent. Gajapatinagarm in Vizianagaram district received the highest rainfall of 20 mm since Sunday night.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin on Monday morning, deep depression lay centered at over south Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh about 110 km south-southeast of Jagdalpur (Chhattisgarh) and 140 km west-northwest of Kalingapatnam (Andhra Pradesh). It is likely to move nearly westwards and weaken further into a depression during next 12 hours.
The IMD has forecast light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy and extremely heavy falls at isolated places very likely over north coastal Andhra Pradesh, south Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Vidarbha.
Heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places over south Odisha and heavy rainfall at isolated places over Rayalaseema are also likely. Squally wind, speed reaching 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph, very likely to prevail over Westcentral and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal off Andhra Pradesh and adjoining south Odisha coasts during next six hours and decrease thereafter.
Squally wind, speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph, is likely to prevail over north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha districts during next six hours and decrease thereafter. As sea condition will be rough to very rough, meteorologists have advised fishermen not to venture into sea for next 12 hours.
Meanwhile, the cyclone also triggered rains in other parts of Andhra Pradesh. East Goadavari district was receiving heavy rains. Low-lying areas were inundated in Kakinada. Rain water entered houses in some areas. Electricity supply was disrupted in Amalapuram since Sunday night