After cyclone Phailin that caused extensive damage in north coastal Andhra, the State is now bracing itself to face another cyclonic storm -- Helen.

The cyclonic storm is stationed about 300 km off the coast between Ongole and Nellore (280 km southwest of Visakhapatnam) and cross the coast, after midnight on Thursday.

Evacuation from the low-lying areas in Nellore and 11 mandals of Prakasam district began late on Wednesday night.

Extensive rainfall

The Met department has warned that extensive rainfall is likely to occur along the coast.

A storm surge of about 1.5 metres is likely to inundate low-lying areas of Nellore, Prakasam, Krishna and Guntur districts at the time of the landfall.

The four districts are likely to bear the brunt of the cyclonic storm and the Relief department had requested the National Disaster Management Authority to deploy six teams in Prakasam, Guntur and Krishna districts.

In all, 52 villages in Nellore and low-lying villages in 11 mandals of Prakasam have been identified as vulnerable and the government had constituted special teams of police, Panchayat Raj and revenue officials to be present in these areas for taking up relief measures in case of an emergency.

Special officers deployed

Special officers had been deployed to Nellore and Prakasam district and fishermen advised not to venture into the sea.

The Met department had forecast that squally winds up to 55 to 65 kmph would prevail along and off the south coast from Wednesday night and 110 kmph at the time of landfall.

Chief Secretary P.K. Mohanty reviewed the situation with senior officials including disaster management commission C. Parthasarathy.

Ongole Staff Reporter adds:

The Prakasam district administration is gearing up to face the cyclonic storm set to cross the coast after Thursday midnight.

The storm comes at a time when a three-member team from the Central government is touring the district to study the impact of last month’s torrential rains.

11 coastal mandals placed on alert

Tahsildars and Special Officers in the 11 coastal mandals were placed on alert and asked to store essential commodities, drinking water and medicines in the villages under their jurisdiction in advance. to avoind any last minute emergencies.