1,100 people shifted to relief centres in Andhra’s Srikakulam as Cyclone Gulab continues landfall process
As forecasted by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclone Gulab’s landfall process began at 6pm on Sunday over north coastal Andhra Pradesh, and south coastal Odisha. According to latest visuals shared by news agency ANI, strong winds and heavy rainfall have been witnessed in Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh – which was one of the three districts that have been put on high alert in the state. Srikakulam’s joint collector Sumit Kumar told ANI that two teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and four squads of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have arrived in the district for rescue operations.
“Heavy rainfall could lead to floods, which is another challenge. [As many as] 19 mandals in the district are flood prone,” Kumar was quoted as saying by ANI.
He added that nearly 61 relief centres have been set up across Srikakulam, and a total of 1,100 people have been evacuated to these centres.
Meanwhile, six fishermen from Srikakulam have gone missing after Cyclone Gulab hit the coast in Andhra Pradesh. They were returning to their native village in Palasa in a new boat when the strong waves hit the same.
According to the latest IMD updates, the landfall process will continue for the next two to three hours over the coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh and adjoining Odisha. The landfall has been forecasted to hit the states by crossing between Kalingapatnam and Gopalpur at midnight on Sunday.
Earlier in the day, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik held a virtual review meeting in Delhi, to evaluate the preparedness of the state ahead of Cyclone Gulab. Post the meeting, he told reporters that a total of 10 districts are going to be affected by the cyclonic storm.
Seven districts of the eastern Indian state, including Ganjan, Kandhamal, and Malkangiri, among others, have been put on high alert with the collectors initiating an evacuation drive as well for people living in vulnerable regions. Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy held a review meeting on Saturday, and issued high alert in Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam and ports of Gangavaram and Kakinada besides Srikakulam.