Cyclone threat to Andhra recedes, rains continue

Vijayawada, May 20 (IANS) Threat to coastal Andhra Pradesh from cyclonic storm ‘Roanu’ in the Bay of Bengal appears to have receded as the system is heading towards the Bangladesh coast, officials said on Friday.

According to the met office, the cyclonic storm lay centred at about 40 km south southeast of Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

“The system is likely to move northeastwards along & off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts and further intensify in to severe cyclonic storm during next 24 hours. Thereafter, the system is likely to move east northeastwards and cross south Bangladesh coast between Khepupara and Cox’s Bazar close to Chittagong in the night of May 21 as a cyclonic storm,” the met office said in a bulletin.

Under the influence of the cyclone, heavy rains continued in parts of coastal Andhra for a third day consecutive day on Friday, lashing Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari and Krishna districts.

The Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre has forecast heavy to very heavy rains at isolated places in these districts over next two days (Friday and Saturday).

Gale wind speed reaching 90-100 km per hour is likely along and off coastal Andhra Pradesh. As the state of sea is likely to be high to very high, fishermen have been advised not to venture into seas.

Local warning signal IV kept hoisted at Machilipatnam, Krishnapatnam and Vodarevu ports in south coastal Andhra and also at Kakinada, Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram, Kalingapatnam and Bheemunipatnam in north coastal Andhra.

Several places in Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram and Visakhapatnam districts of north coastal Andhra and few places in south coastal Andhra received seven to 15 cm rainfall since Thursday.

The first major rain this season provided much needed relief to people reeling under drought conditions and heat wave. The lakes which had completely dried up received good inflows and smaller ones even got filled up in just one rain.

The rains, however, damaged crops in parts of coastal Andhra. The gales damaged banana crops in West Godavari and East Godavari districts.

The authorities in coastal districts had already gone on alert to tackle any eventuality. Control rooms were opened in the districts.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who reviewed the situation on Thursday, had directed officials to be prepared to evacuate people from low-lying areas.

Five teams of National Disaster Response Force and personnel from State Disaster Response Force were also deployed to take up rescue and relief works.

–IANS

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