Andhra Pradesh government machinery on high alert as storm set to cross between Ongole and Kakinada

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Published: December 15, 2018 10:28:34 PM

The Met office said that coastal Andhra Pradesh and north Tamil Nadu are likely to experience rainfall in the next two days.

A satellite image of the depression in the Bay of Bengal (Twitter Image)

The Andhra Pradesh government put its machinery on high alert and positioned NDRF and State Disaster Response Force in five districts Saturday as the deep depression in the Bay of Bengal was set to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm and cross the coast between Ongole and Kakinada on Monday. The Met office said that coastal Andhra Pradesh and north Tamil Nadu are likely to experience rainfall in the next two days with the system making landfall between Ongole and Kakinada in the neighbouring state on Monday.

A report from Amaravati, quoting State Disaster Management Authority Director Prasanna Venkatesh,said teams of National Disaster Response Force and SDRF have been positioned in the coastal districts of Guntur, Krishna, West Godavari, East Godavari and Visakhapatnam and the government machinery put on high alert. He said two teams of SDRF (80 members) and two of NDRF (60 members) have been deployed in these districts with all necessary equipment for evacuation and rescue operations.

Sixteen teams of Andhra Pradesh Disaster Response and Fire Services have been kept on reserve at Rajamahendravaram, while another nine (of five members each) have been positioned in West Godavari district for road clearance, he said. “Additionally,four teams of NDRF personnel have been sent to East Godavari district and another kept on standby at the 10th Battalion headquarters for ready movement,” Venkatesh said.

East Godavari District Collector Kartikeya Misra declared a two-day holiday for all schools in eight coastal mandals in view of the cyclone threat. State Chief Secretary Anil Chandra Punetha spoke to Collectors of all coastal districts and reviewed the preparedness to tackle the possible calamity. Misra said that 50 relief camps have been opened in eight coastal mandals and four IAS officers stationed at Amalapuram to monitor the situation and take appropriate action.

A report from Puducherry, quoting revenue Minister M O H F Shah Jahan,said he asked the Regional Administrative Officer of Yanam (en enclave of the union territory near Kakinda in Andhra Pradesh) D Subramaniswara Rao, to take precautionary measures in view of the cyclone. Shah Jahan said that Health and Tourism Minister Malladi Krishna Rao, elected from the lone Assembly segment in Yanam, was camping in the region, coordinating preventive steps and gearing up departments to ensure that people in vulnerable areas are evacuated to safer places.

A Met department bulletin said that squally winds, with a speed of 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph was likely off Andhra Pradesh, north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts from Saturday. The deep depression over southeast Bay of Bengal moved further west-northwestwards and lay centred on Saturday morning over southwest and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal. It lay about 690 km southeast of here, 890 km south-south east of Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh and 440 km east-northeast of Trincomalee in Sri Lanka.

“It is very likely to intensify further into a cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours (between Saturday and Sunday) and into a severe cyclonic storm in the subsequent 24 hours (between Sunday and Monday morning),” it said. The system is very likely to move north-northwestwards further and cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Ongole and Kakinada during December 17 afternoon.

In view of the system, rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy showers at a few places is very likely over coastal Andhra Pradesh on December 16 and 17. “Extremely heavy falls at isolated places is also likely over north coastal Andhra Pradesh on 17 December,” it said. Rainfall at many places with isolated heavy rain over north Tamil Nadu was likely on December 16, the bulletin said.

The wind speed was very likely to increase gradually to gale force with speeds of 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph along and off Andhra Pradesh coast from December 17 morning,it said. The sea would be rough to very rough in south Andhra Pradesh and north Tamil Nadu from Saturday till December 17, it said, adding that fishermen have been advised not to venture into the Bay of Bengal.

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