Two killed, heavy rainfall in Andhra as cyclone Phethai makes landfall
Cyclone Phethai made a landfall between Kakinada and Yanam on Monday, killing two persons and caused widespread damages to paddy, aquaculture and horticulture crops across seven coastal districts.
“Although the landfall is complete towards evening, the cyclone is expected to re-emerge into west central Bay of Bengal off Kakinada coast and again cross coast near Tuni in East Godavari district in the late evening of Monday”, M Mohapatra, head of Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre, said.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu rushed back to Amaravati after attending the swearing-in ceremony of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath, to take stock of cyclone-induced damages. Naidu will visit the cyclone-hit Kakinada and Visakhapatnam on Tuesday, said the chief minister’s office.
A person identified as Durga Rao (35) was killed in Vijayawada early Monday when a boulder crashed through the roof of his house, located on foothills, after a landslip. In a related incident, a woman reportedly died due to squally winds at Pallepalem in East Godavari district. Six fishermen from Kakinada who went fishing on December 11 got stranded in the sea for two days, before they could return home, East Godavari district superintendent of police Vishal Gunni said.
The cyclone hit normal life across the state and caused heavy damages to paddy and aquaculture crops in East and West Godavari districts and Krishna district. Phethai struck the farmers hard when they harvested the crop and were getting ready for threshing during the khariff season.
Phethai left its trail of destruction across seven coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh—Guntur, Krishna, West Godavari, East Godavari and parts of Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam.
Around 14 flight services from Visakhapatnam airport were either cancelled or diverted to Hyderabad. Similarly, several train services were cancelled. In East Godavari, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation cancelled bus services.
Watch: Cyclone Phethai lands in Andhra Pradesh’s Kakinada
Damage to Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited’s distribution network led to a blackout in Kakinada, and nearly 1,000 villages in East Godavari, according to official information.
The severe cyclonic storm ‘Phethai’ over west-central Bay of Bengal has moved further northwards with a speed of 24kmph and weakened into a deep depression. Phethai will cross the Andhra Pradesh coast near Kakinada while still a cyclonic storm, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said, and will result in “heavy to very heavy rain at a few places with extremely heavy fall at isolated places over north coastal Andhra Pradesh.”
Fishermen in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Odisha coasts are advised to not venture into sea. There is a total suspension on fishing along the Andhra Pradesh coast. “The severe cyclonic storm has weakened and turned into a deep depression now. There will be heavy to very heavy rainfall in Andhra Pradesh, parts of Odisha and south Chhattisgarh tonight, rainfall may cease from Tuesday in these states,” said M Mohapatra, IMD’s meteorology director.