Visakhapatnam airport almost submerged as Cyclone Gulab triggers heavy rain
Although Cyclone Gulab weakened into a deep depression after completing the landfall process earlier in the day, heavy rainfall in the coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh caused by the storm led to severe waterlogging at the Visakhapatnam International Airport. Visuals shared by news agency ANI showed people wading through ankle-deep rainwater to enter or leave the airport. The road leading to the entrance of the airport was also seen as heavily waterlogged.
After visuals surfaced, airport director K Srinivasa Rao told ANI that the waterlogging happened after the “release of water from Meghadri Gedda Reservoir” along with heavy rainfall triggered by Cyclone Gulab. “As a precautionary measure, flight boardings were delayed for some time but are normal now,” he was quoted as saying.
The India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) chief of Cyclone Warning Centre, Visakhapatnam, has forecasted the state to continue observing “light to moderate rainfall” in isolated places of coastal regions for the next one to two days. Fishermen have been warned against heading to the sea on Monday.
Earlier in the day, an IMD official noted that Cyclone Gulab made landfall at Tokali and Miduguda villages near Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. During the landfall, the cyclone’s wind speed was about 90 kmph in the southern state, while it was 30kmph in Odisha’s Gopalpur. Notably, the landfall process of Cyclone Gulab commenced at 6pm on Sunday.
According to the afternoon IMD bulletin, the deep depression over south Odisha and neighbouring south Chhattisgarh moved westwards during the past six hours, and is likely to weaken into a “well-marked low-pressure area” in the subsequent 24 hours. At 11.30 am, the deep depression lay 65 km south of Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh, and 150 km east-northeast of Bhadrachalan in Telangana.
Due to these weather conditions, the IMD has also issued a Flash Flood Risk (FFR) alert in several districts of Telangana, including Nirmal, Warangal, Jagital, Janagoan, Bhuvanagiri, and Mulugu, among others.
Besides Telangana, the IMD has issued a yellow alert in 11 districts of Kerala for today, while an orange alert in Idukki, Thrissur and Ernakulam. The yellow alert has been issued in three districts – Kannur, Kozhikode and Kasargod, for Tuesday as well.
As many as three people were killed in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha after Cyclone Gulab made landfall on Sunday. Two fishermen lost their lives after the cyclone hit their boat in Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam district, while one person was swept away in Odisha’s Ganjam.