Fear gripped coastal Andhra as high tidal waves lashed the coast under the impact of cyclonic storm ‘Thane’ which is set to cross the coast between Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu and Nellore in Andhra Pradesh Dec 30.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclonic storm over southwest and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal remained practically stationary and lay centred at about 600 km east-southeast of Chennai.

“The system is likely to move west-northwestwards slowly, intensify into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours and cross north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh coasts between Cuddalore and Nellore around the morning of Dec 30,” the IMD bulletin said Wednesday morning.

Under its influence, heavy rains and squally winds with a speed of 45-55 kmph are likely from Thursday.

Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre said the sea condition would be rough to very rough and advised fishermen not to venture into the sea. Those who were out at sea were advised to return to the coast.

Meanwhile, due to high tidal waves of eight—10 feet, sea water inundated some places in Nellore, Prakasam and Srikakulam districts. Fishing boats anchored along the coast were either washed away or damaged due to the tidal waves since Tuesday night.

The road between Uppada and Kakinada in East Godavari was cut off Wednesday as the waves damaged the embankment and the sea water overflowed the beach road, an official said.

High tidal waves accompanied by squally winds damaged boats in several villages in Srikakulam district.

Two fishermen were drowned when their boat capsized in high sea Tuesday evening close to the coast at Malkipuram in East Godavari district. Five others swam to safety.

About 200 fishermen of Guntur district who were reported missing returned safely with the help of Coast Guard Tuesday night. The families of the fishermen spent anxious moments as they had not returned home despite the cyclone warning by the weather office.

All nine coastal districts in Andhra have gone on high-alert as the cyclonic storm is heading towards the coast.

Control rooms have been opened in the offices of district collectors. Special officers were appointed in the coastal blocks to take up evacuation and other measures to minimize loss of lives and property.