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Cyclone Gulab: 1 Dead as Storm Makes Landfall in Andhra; Likely to Weaken Into Deep Depression in 6 Hours

News18 logo News18 26-09-2021 News Desk
Cyclone Gulab: 1 Dead as Storm Makes Landfall in Andhra; Likely to Weaken Into Deep Depression in 6 Hours © Provided by News18 Cyclone Gulab: 1 Dead as Storm Makes Landfall in Andhra; Likely to Weaken Into Deep Depression in 6 Hours

One person died, and thousands were evacuated on Sunday as the cyclonic storm Gulab made its landfall at Santhaguda in Andhra Pradesh, Special Relief Commissioner P K Jena said. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in its earlier update that the storm had crossed north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts, about 20 km north of Kalingapatnam and lay centred at 8:30 pm on Sunday over north Andhra Pradesh, adding that it is likely to weaken into a deep depression during the next six hours.

The wind speed of the cyclone is much less in Odisha compared to that in the neighbouring state during landfall. Jena said after 12 noon of Sunday, the cyclonic storm suddenly picked up speed and moved over the Bay of Bengal towards the landmass at 25 kilometres per hour (kmph) from the earlier 17 kmph and made the landfall three hours ahead of the expected time. Though three hours have passed since the landfall process started at 6 pm, there is so far not much strong wind nor was there heavy rainfall from any parts of Odisha. Intermittent mild to moderate rainfall is reported from a few districts, Jena said.

The landfall was made at Miduguda and Tokali villages near Kalingapatnam town in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, an IMD official said. During the landfall, the wind speed of the cyclone at Kalingapatanam was about 90 kmph while it was 30 kmph at Gopalpur in Odisha, he said. The system will enter Odisha’s Koraput district before moving towards Chhattisgarh on Monday. Bhubaneswar Met Centre Director HR Biswas said, “The cyclone has completed landfall. It will enter Odisha’s Koraput district at around midnight and will weaken to a deep depression in the next six hours.” There is a possibility of extremely heavy rainfall in the districts of Koraput, Rayagada and Gajapati and the wind speed will remain 50 to 60 kmph, Biswas said.

Meanwhile, Jena said in his latest media briefing that under the influence of the system, rainfall in Gajapati, Rayagada and Koraput districts may increase on Sunday night. So far, 39,000 people, including 10,000 from Ganjam district, have been evacuated, he said.

ALSO READ | Cyclone Gulab: PM Modi Speaks With Odisha, Andhra CMs, Assures Centre’s Support

Fisherman Killed, Another Assumed Dead ‘Returns’

A fisherman from Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh was killed, one injured and another remained missing. Three more fishermen reached the shore safely and called state Fisheries Minister S Appala Raju over phone from Akkupalli village and told him they were safe.

Six fishermen from Palasa, who were returning to their native village by sea in a new boat they purchased in Odisha two days ago, were caught in the storm. One of the six called his village over phone and informed that their boat lost balance and five of his fellow fishermen were lost in the sea. Subsequently, his mobile phone too went silent, indicating that he too might have gone missing. However, three of them swam to safety while one perished. Another fisherman, who was assumed dead, however, came alive with his leg cut.

ALSO READ | Odisha Sets ‘Zero Casualty’ Target as Cyclone Gulab Approaches, Evacuation Drive Underway

Indian Navy Monitors Situation

Meanwhile, the Indian Navy was closely monitoring the movement of the Cyclone, and kept naval ships and aircraft on standby for rescue and relief operations. The Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam and naval officers in charge of Odisha carried out preparatory activities to combat the effects of the cyclone, according to an official statement.

Evacuations On Through the Day

Evacuations operations are ongoing in risk-areas. Jena said earlier in the day that 16,000 people including 600 pregnant, differently-abled and old persons were evacuated and shifted to shelter houses in Odisha till 2:30 PM.

In Srikakulam district, authorities evacuated 1,100 people from low-lying areas and shifted them to 61 relief centres. Two teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and four teams of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) arrived in the region as meteorologists warned that heavy rainfall could lead to floods. The entire coastal region has been put on alert in view of the impact of cyclone. The district administration have opened control rooms monitor the situation.

Centre Assures Support

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and assured them of the Centre’s support in facing the situation arising in the wake of cyclone Gulab. “Discussed the cyclone situation in parts of Odisha with CM @Naveen_Odisha Ji. The Centre assures all possible support in overcoming this adversity,” Modi said in a tweet. Praying for the safety and well-being of everybody, he said.

With inputs from Manoj Jena, and PTI.

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