Cyclone Helen to affect 4 AP districts
Deccan Chronicle| kruthi gonwar
Helen may make landfall at Ongole in AP, with a wind speed of up to 120 kmph on Friday.
Hyderabad: Even before the state can recover from the damage caused by Cyclone Phailin, it is gearing up to face another cyclone, Helen. The impact will, however, be less than Phailin as it is graded as a cyclonic storm that will intensify into a severe cyclonic storm, whereas Phailin was a very severe cyclonic storm.
Currently lying over the west-central Bay of Bengal, Helen may make landfall at Ongole in south coastal AP, with a wind speed of up to 120 kmph on Friday.
4 AP districts to be worst hit
Situated 420 km east of Kavali, 320 km east-southeast of Machilipatnam and 290 km south-southeast of Visakhapatnam, it is very likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours. It is likely to cross the south Andhra coast, close to Ongole as a severe cyclonic storm on Friday morning.
Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur and Krishna districts in South Coastal Andhra Pradesh are likely to face the maximum impact of Cyclone Helen.
Also read - Helen to make landfall tomorrow afternoon
The Meteorological department has predicted heavy to very heavy rains and even extreme rains will occur in isolated places on November 21 and 22 and moderate to rather heavy rainfall will occur at most places in Andhra Pradesh.
Storm surge of about 1 to 1.5 m height above astronomical tide will inundate the low-lying areas of Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh at the time of landfall.
"The impact of the cyclone on Telangana and Rayalaseema can be examined only after the path is traced. For now, we are monitoring the situation continuously," said M. Narsimha Rao, assistant meteorologist at the Meteorological Centre, Hyderabad.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who is on tour in Chittoor district, spoke to chief secretary P.K. Mohanty over the phone and reviewed the situation in the coastal districts. He directed all district collectors to evacuate people living in low-lying areas and ensure rescue and relief work is carried out as early as possible.
Dr Mohanty reviewed the situation with the concerned officials at the secretariat. He said six National Disaster Response Force teams and a few more from the State Disaster Response Force have been rushed to the coast, of which two have been deployed in Kavali and Prakasam, while one team each has been deputed in Guntur and Krishna districts.
In Nellore, 52 habitations have been identified as likely to be inundated and people will be evacuated if necessary.
Irrigation officials have been told to ensure that rivulets and streams are closely monitored and civil supplies department will monitor adequate stocks of essential commodities.
The medical and health department has been told to keep adequate stocks of medicines and paramedical staff, and municipal officials have been told to evacuate people living in dilapidated buildings.
Roads and buildings department and electricity department must report to the concerned district collectors about the damages.
Special officers for Nellore, Prakasam and Guntur districts have been appointed and helicopters have been put on standby.
The Coastal Security wing of the Marine Police has been alerted. Two special teams of Emergency and Fire Services, trained in disaster management, are being sent to Prakasam and Nellore districts for rescue and relief operations.
Collectors have declared a holiday for schools as a precautionary measure, and the army and railway authorities have been alerted about the IMD’s cyclone warning.