The very severe cyclonic storm Lehar over southeast Bay of Bengal moved west-north-west-wards and lay centred at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday over South-East and adjoining West Central Bay of Bengal about 800 km east-southeast of Kakinada. The system would intensify further and move west-northwest-wards and cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Machilipatnam and Kalingapatnam around Thursday noon.

According to a bulletin issued by Cyclone Warning Centre here, under the influence of Lehar, moderate rainfall at many places would commence on Wednesday evening over north coastal Andhra and Yanam district of Pondicherry. Intensity would gradually increase with rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls over north coastal Andhra and Yanam on Thursday and isolated heavy rainfall over South Coastal Andhra.

Squally winds speed reaching 45 to 55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph would commence from Wednesday evening along and off Andhra Coast. It would increase in intensity with gale wind speed reaching 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph along and off coastal districts of Krishna, East and West Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts and Yanam and 120-130 kmph gusting to 140 kmph over Viziananagaram, Srikakulam and Guntur districts at the time of land fall.

Squally winds speed reaching 55 kmph to 65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph would prevail along and off the remaining districts of Andhra at the time of landfall.

State of sea

Sea condition along and off Andhra coast will be rough to very rough from Wednesday evening and will become phenomenal on Thursday along and off north coastal Andhra and adjoining south coastal Andhra. Storm surge with height about two to three meters above astronomical tide would inundate low-laying areas of East and West Godavari, Visakhapatnam and Krishna districts and Yanam of Pondicherry at the time of landfall.

Extensive damage to kutcha houses, uprooting and breaking of tree branches, disruption of power and communication lines, rail and road traffic is expected. Potential threat from flying debris, flooding of escape routes and extensive damage to agricultural crops is likely.

The authorities advised total suspension of fishing operations and requested people in affected areas to remain indoors. Distant warning signal number II is hoisted at Visakhapatnam, Machilipatnam, Nizampatnam, Krishnapatnam ports.

Distant warning signal number II with section signal number V, III and II kept hoisted at Kakinada and Gangavaram ports.

Authorities advised to fully suspend fishing operations