The Meteorological Department has issued a cyclone alert for fishermen and advised them not to venture into Andhra Coast. According to the alert, the severe cyclonic storm ‘Vardah’ over Bay of Bengal is centered at about 580 km south east of Nellore, 550 km east-southeast of Machilipatnam and 540 km east-northeast of Chennai. It is likely to move northwest and cross the coast between Nellore and Machilipatnam by tomorrow.
It is likely to maintain its intensity till the evening today and thereafter, likely to weaken gradually while moving towards south Andhra Pradesh and adjoining north Tamil Nadu coasts. The cyclone alert said that squally winds and rough to very rough sea conditions are expected along and off Andhra Pradesh and North Tamil Nadu coasts.
Under its influence, light to moderate rainfall at many places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over south coastal Andhra and adjoining areas of north coastal Tamil Nadu likely to commence from today evening, with squally winds speed reaching 40-50 kmph and gusting to 60 kmph prevailing along and off Andhra Pradesh and adjoining Tamil Nadu coasts beginning tonight.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu cancelling his visit to Dubai got into disaster management mode to monitor the situation. After assessing the situation he appointed four special officers to handle the cyclone effect each in Nellore, Chittoor, Prakasam and Kadapa districts, which are under threat to alert people and mobilise them in the areas where the impact would be high.
The State government has set up a control room at the Command Communication Centre in Vijayawada under NDMA with helpline number 0866-2488000. The district administrations along the south coastal Andhra have asked the Revenue, Panchayat Raj and Irrigation department officials to remain in the headquarters and prepare for contingency measures.