40,000 people evacuated, cyclone shows signs of weakening
Over 40,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas of Andhra Pradesh even as cyclone Laila appeared to be weakening gradually today and is expected the cross the state's coast near Machilipatnam.india Updated: May 20, 2010 12:12 IST
Over 40,000 people were evacuated from low-lying areas of Andhra Pradesh even as cyclone Laila appeared to be weakening gradually today and is expected the cross the state's coast near Machilipatnam.
Laila remained "practically stationary" and lay centered some 200 km south off Machilipatnam coast and is likely to hit the mainland by the afternoon, according to the latest bulletin released by the MeT department.
"The system is showing signs of weakening due to increase of wind shear and land interaction," the Met bulletin
However, the threat has not subsided fully yet as gales with speeds of over 115 km in the coastal areas may
cause a lot of damage, a senior official of the Disaster Management Department in Hyderabad said.
"We have already moved about 40000 people from vulnerable villages to safety and many more will be shifted
based on need," he said.
Defence Minister A K Antony said, "The armed forces were always ready to help the civil administration whenever
they are in distress."
"Whatever help is needed from the Navy and the other armed forces, we will extend," he said.
Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur, Krishna, West Godavari and East Godavari districts are likely to bear the brunt of the
cyclonic storm even as heavy to extremely heavy rain has been forecast in the coastal districts in the next 36 hours.
Chief Minister K Rosaiah monitored the situation through the night and held a tele-conference with district collectors to review the rescue operations and preparedness of the government machinery.
The Chief Minister directed that adequate stocks of essential commodities be kept ready in all the affected
He also asked the collectors to make food and medical arrangements for people in relief camps.