The coastal areas in Andhra Pradesh are bracing for yet another severe cyclonic storm, which is likely to make a landfall on December 12 between Nellore and Kakinada, that may cause heavy damage to standing crops and other properties.
The Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre (CWC) said Cyclone Vardah, which has caused heavy to very heavy rains over Andaman and Nicobar Islands, lay centred in the Bay of Bengal at about 1,000 km southeast off the Visakhapatnam coast in the early hours of Friday.
“The system is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours and move nearly northwards, then west-northwest wards and is expected to cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Kakinada by the afternoon of December 12,” a CWC official said.
The severe cyclonic storm packing wind speed up to 130 km per hour will also pound Andaman and Nicobar on Friday and Saturday, the Met office has warned. The warning has raised fresh concerns over the safety of 1,400 tourists stranded in the archipelago for the last four days. Those stranded include 320 foreign nationals.
Squally winds speed reaching 80 to 130 kmph are likely to prevail along and off coastal Andhra Pradesh from Saturday. There would be moderate to heavy rainfall at isolated places along the coast.
The sea would be rough to very rough along and off the coast and fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea and those who already in the sea have been asked to return to the coast.
Distant warning signals No II have been hoisted at Visakhapatnam, Machilipatnam, Nizampatnam and Krishnapatnam ports, the official bulletin said.
The Andhra Pradesh government has asked the collectors of all the coastal districts to remain alert in the wake of warning that the cyclonic storm might cause heavy damage to the coastal areas.
It has ordered them to depute special personnel to alert people in the areas where the impact would be high. A control room has been set up at the Command Communication Centre in Vijayawada which will be operated by the NDMA.
The government has also alerted the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to take all precautions to prevent damages and minimise the losses.
A helpline number 0866-2488000 has been circulated for the people to contact the officials.