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Cyclone Lehar to hit AP coast near Machilipatnam, Nellore

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'Severe' cyclone Lehar set to hit Andhra Pradesh coast soon
'Severe' cyclone Lehar set to hit Andhra Pradesh coast soon

The very severe cyclonic storm, ‘Leher’ which lay over southeast and adjoining central Bay of Bengal will intensify further and move west northwestwards and cross Andhra Pradesh coast near Machilipatnam on Thursday afternoon.

On Tuesday it was said that the cyclone will cross the coast at Kakinada.

Citing an IMD bulletin, Mr. C. Parthasarathi, Disaster Management Commissioner, said that rainfall would commence at many places in coastal Andhra from Wednesday evening. The intensity would gradually increase with rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavyfalls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls over coastal Andhra Pradesh on November 28.

Lehar is generating six-metre high seas and forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre anticipate that warm water temperatures and low wind shear will assist the system in intensifying.

Squally wind speeds reaching 45-55 kmph, gusting to 65 kmph, will commence along and off Andhra Pradesh with gale wind speeds reaching 170-180 kmph, gusting to 200 kmph, along and off coastal districts of Krishna, West and East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts and 120-130 kmph, gusting to 140 kmph, over Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and Guntur districts of Coastal AP at the time of landfall.

Sea condition will be rough to very rough along and off north Coastal AP and adjoining south Coastal AP, stated the release.

Storm surges have also been predicted at low-lying areas owing to astronomical tides. Low-lying areas of West and East Godavari, Visakhapatnam and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Puducherry are likely to get storm surges at the time of landfall.

Some international weather sites predicted storm surges of 1 meter at Pedapatnam in Mamidikuduru mandal of East Godavari district.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy held a review meeting on the preparedness for Lehar with Chief Secretary P.K. Mohanty and CMO officials at his camp office. The chief secretary informed the CM that steps were being taken on a war footing to prevent loss of life and property due to the cyclone.

Special officers have been nominated for the nine coastal districts and round-the-clock control rooms at the Secretariat (040-23452144 and 23451043) were operating. The tentative requirement of NDRF te-ams has been finalised and communicated to the commandant, NDRF.

The sea would become very rough from Wednesday evening and become phenomenal on Thursday.

It is estimated that 2.5 lakh people from the seven districts of Guntur, Krishna, East and West Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam will be evacuated and relief centres established by Wednesday evening. Chief Secretary P. K. Mohanty who reviewed the preparedness with all the departments in the morning decided to request for four columns of Army each consisting of 100 men to be deployed in Eluru, Kakinada, Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam.

Mr. Parthasarathi said that extensive damage to communication and power lines, agricultural crops and kutcha houses was expected with potential threat from flying debris. Total suspension of fishing operations was advised and fishermen instructed not to venture out into the sea. Special officers were directed to reach their respective districts by Thursday.

Round the clock control rooms were opened at the Secretariat with Phone nos 04023452144 and 23451043. Thirty NDRF teams were being deployed and additional teams were being moved from Chennai, Bhubaneswar and Pune.

A DIG of NDRF, New Delhi, has been deputed to the State to supervise and monitor the deployment of NDRF teams.

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