Cyclone Asani to come close to Vizag today
Deccan Chronicle.| dc correspondent
All flights to Visakhapatnam cancelled
Vehicle users have a tough-time to wading through the downpour due to cyclone Asani at Resapuvanipalem junction in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. (Photo: DC/ P Narasimha Murthy)
Visakhapatnam: The severe cyclonic storm Asani changed track significantly and is likely to come close to the coast between Kakinada and Visakhapatnam, the weather office said on Tuesday evening.
The IMD issued a red alert to five districts — Guntur, Krishna, West Godavari, East Godavari and Visakhapatnam — which are very likely to be affected by extremely heavy rainfall on Wednesday. The system will move along Andhra Pradesh coast and weaken into a cyclonic storm.
Under its influence, heavy to very heavy rainfall (20 cm or above) is likely over Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam, Anakapalle, Konaseema, Kakinada and East Godavari districts on Wednesday. These districts received good rains on Tuesday. Visakhapatnam city received 57 mm of rainfall during the day followed by Gajuwaka, which received 29 mm.
Asani is likely to weaken into a cyclonic storm by Wednesday morning and into a depression by Thursday (May 12) morning. Squally winds with a speed of 75-85 kmph gusting to 95 kmph are likely over and along the AP coast on Wednesday. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea for a couple of days.
The IMD also issued an orange alert for Prakasam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts, which implied that the authorities should be prepared to prevent possible disasters.
It warned of a sea surge of 0.5 metre high that is likely to inundate low-lying areas of Krishna, East and West Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts.
Meanwhile, all flights of Indigo (23 arrivals plus 23 departures), Air India (two arrivals and two departures) and those of Air Asia were cancelled on Tuesday, Director of Visakhapatnam International Airport said. All Indigo flights scheduled for Wednesday were also cancelled.
The Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard are on a high alert to launch relief and rescue operations in case the severe cyclone Asani affects the people in North Andhra and south coastal Odisha.
As part of the preparedness, 19 flood relief teams and six diving teams along with Gemini craft and associated gears have been kept ready at Visakhapatnam. Five Indian Navy ships are on a standby mission with relief material, diving and medical teams to render assistance in the most- affected areas along the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
Naval aircraft have been kept ready at Naval Air Stations, INS Dega at Visakhapatnam and INS Rajali near Chennai to undertake aerial survey of the most-affected areas. Casualty evacuation, if required, will be done, an ENC release said on Tuesday.