Cyclone Gulab: 3 dead in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh
Three people were killed in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh as Cyclone Gulab made landfall in the coastal region of the two states on Sunday evening, officials said.
One person was swept away in Odisha’s Ganjam district and two fishermen from Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh lost their lives while one another went missing as the cyclonic storm made landfall on Sunday evening.
Special relief commissioner of Odisha Pradeep Jena said, “After making landfall at 8.30 pm, the cyclone was moving towards Koraput and Malkangiri districts where it is expected to cause potential damage due to wind and rain. We are expecting widespread rains in Malkangiri, Koraput, Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada districts till tomorrow afternoon. There was no danger to any other coastal districts”.
In Ganjam district, a man was swept away in Gosaninuagaon block while three members of a family in Kharput block of Malkangiri district escaped narrowly from coming under a tree that fell on their house, the officer said.
In Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh, two fishermen in a boat died after five of the six fishermen fell in the sea off Mandasa coast due to strong waves. While three reached ashore safely and two others died, and one fisherman is still missing, officials said.
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.
The Andhra Pradesh fisheries Minister contacted the Navy authorities to carry out a rescue operation.
The three north coastal districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam had been receiving moderate to heavy rain under the influence of Gulab.
Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner K Kanna Babu reviewed the situation with the district Collectors and other officials in Visakhapatnam and directed them to be on high alert.
He said NDRF and SDRF teams have been positioned in the three north coastal districts for rescue and relief operations.
In Srikakulam district, 182 persons from Vajrapukothuru mandal have been moved to relief camps, according to the Collector L Srikesh Balaji Rao.
Before the cyclone made landfall, around 39,000 people in Odisha’s Ganjam and Gajapati district had been evacuated by the districts. Officials said people did not show interest for evacuation process as there have been comparatively less wind speed and rains. In Gajapati district, a road was sealed following landslides in a mountain.
The East Coast Railway has cancelled 34 pairs of trains due to Cyclone Gulab. The ECoR has also rescheduled 13 trains and diverted at least 17 trains so far, according to its bulletins. “In view of the forecast of heavy rain with cyclonic wind, all necessary precautions have been taken by ECoR,” it said.
Meanwhile, the South Central Railway informed in a release that eight trains on the Vijayawada-Howrah route were diverted via Kharagpur, Jharsuguda, Bilaspur and Balharshah. Two other trains that were supposed to begin journey on Sunday, have been rescheduled for Monday.
(With PTI inputs)