‘The freak rains and strong gusty winds were caused by a peripheral effect of Mahasen that lurked in the Bay of Bengal for the third consecutive day on Monday; the cyclonic storm will weaken into a deep depression on May 16 before fizzling out’
Lightning struck at several places late on Sunday night when rains and strong gales lashed Coastal Andhra region, claiming eight lives besides uprooting umpteen number of trees and electricity/telephone poles.
Guntur district accounted for four out of eight casualties, Visakhapatnam three and Vizianagaram one. With this, the toll in the three spells of the lightning so far in the State, the first two in April, has gone up 47. The two spells earlier killed 39 persons of varying ages, Disaster Management Commissioner T. Radha said.
Many places in the region plunged into darkness on Sunday night while road links were severed at other places as uprooted trees or branches and electric/telephone poles fell on the roads. By Monday afternoon, the roads were cleared of the obstacles and opened to traffic.
No damage to rabi crops
The State escaped from an extensive damage to crops as, fortunately, the harvesting of rabi crops have already been completed in Coastal Andhra. The freak rains and strong gusty winds were caused by a “peripheral effect” of Mahasen, the cyclonic storm that lurked in the Bay of Bengal for the third consecutive day on Monday.
The storm, which lay 700 m south-east of Chennai, was heading towards Bangladesh and Myanmar coast.
India Meteorological Department, in its cyclone bulletin, said Mahasen would weaken into a deep depression on May 16 before fizzling out.
The rains that battered Coastal Andhra ranging up to a maximum of 5 cm (reported by Viajayawada), brought down the temperatures, giving the much-needed relief to the people in the region from the ordeal of sweltering peak summer weather.
Therlam and Guntur recorded 4 cm each; Padeu, Nandigama, Araku, Addanki, Bapatla, Kakinada, Avanigadda, Veeraghattam, Tadepalligudem 2 cm each, and many other places one cm each.
In Rayalaseema, Satyavedu received 6 cm of rainfall; Perumallapalli, Tirupati each 3 cm; and Jammalamadugu 2 cm. In contrast, skies were merely overcast in Telangana where dry weather prevailed with many places, however, recording temperatures only a little above 40 degrees Celsius.
The State’s highest temperature for the day was recorded at 43 degrees C by Ongole, Rentachintala, Kadapa, Kurnool and Nandyal.
The weather in the State on Tuesday will not be much different, an official in the State Met Office said.