Cyclone causes heavy crop damage, six deaths in Andhra
Hyderabad – Cyclone Helen, which crossed Andhra Pradesh coast Friday, has damaged crops on over 1.69 lakh hectares, officials said.
The officials have also confirmed six deaths due to the cyclone. Two deaths each were reported from Krishna and East Godavari districts and one each from Srikakulam and West Godavari districts.
Standing paddy crops in the coastal region, known as rice bowl of India, were damaged due to rains triggered by the severe cyclonic storm, which crossed the coast at Machilipatnam.
According to the commissioner, disaster management, paddy crops in West Godavari (1,02,7! 75 hectares), Krishna (50,000 hectares), Guntur (10,000 hectares) and East Godavari (6,223 hectares) districts were damaged.
Horticulture crops over 210 hectares were also damaged in these districts.
The crop damage has dealt a fresh blow to farmers, still reeling under the massive destruction caused by last month’s Cyclone Phailin and heavy rains.
Crops over 13 lakh hectares were damaged due to heavy rains last month.
The authorities evacuated over 21,000 people in four districts and shifted them to 93 camps. They began returning to their homes Saturday.
Officials said 381 houses were damaged due to rains and strong winds. Electricity supply to 563 villages was also disrupted.
Parts of the coastal Andhra and Telangana regions received rains Saturday under the impact of low pressure area.
According to the met office, the cyclone weakened into low pressure area. It has forecast rainfall at many places in coastal Andhra and Tel! angana over the next 12 hours.