Cyclone Gulab leaves a trail of destruction in north coastal Andhra

The Chavullamadam bridge that was cut off completely due to heavy water-logging as Visakhapatnam experienced heavy rain under the influence of Cyclone Gulab, on September 27, 2021.\   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

Cyclone Gulab which made landfall on Sunday evening at Kalingaptnam left a trail of destruction in the north coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, throwing normal life out of gear. One woman was killed in a wall collapse in Visakhapatnam district. In Vizianagaram district, crops in 13,413 hectares were damaged, according to Collector A. Surya Kumari.

A large number of low-lying habitations in various cities and towns were flooded with 253 mandals recording more than 10 cm of rainfall as of 8.30 a.m. on Monday even as rains continued to lash the State. Thirty-two locations in Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram districts recorded more than 25 cm rainfall during the period. Visakhapatnam airport was marooned. Officials said Vajrapukotthuru and Santhabommali mandals bore the brunt of the cyclone.

Rains also pounded Telangana on Monday with Bachodu in Khammam district recording 15 cm followed by Wyra with 14 cm by afternoon. Several parts of Hyderabad also witnessed heavy rains through the day.

Odisha unscathed

Neighbouring Odisha suffered little damage, with widespread rain reported from southern districts on Monday.

“The cyclone has not inflicted significant damage when it passed over the State. Wind speed recorded during the past 24 hours was not destructive. Gajapati district received uniform rainfall, which was not even intense. Two blocks of Koraput and Malkangiri have recorded above 100 mm rainfall,” said Pradeep Kumar Jena, Special Relief Commissioner.

AP villages cut off

Electricity and communication networks were damaged and uprooted trees brought traffic to a halt on many roads in north Andhra, leaving several villages cut off. With power supply disrupted since Sunday evening, personnel of the Eastern power DISCOM worked to replace fallen electric poles on a war-footing and work was underway to clear uprooted trees. There was moderate rainfall in the Rayalaseema region.

Meanwhile, Krishna District Collector J. Nivas took steps to mitigate the impact of the rains, which disrupted normal life in Vijayawada city. Several mandals, including Vijayawada, received heavy to extremely heavy rainfall. G. Konduru and Bapulapadu Mandals received more than 10 cm of rainfall. The district received an average of 44.4 mm rainfall at 8.30 a.m. on Monday.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy announced an ex-gratia relief of ₹5 lakh each to the kin of those killed and instructed Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das to personally monitor the relief operations in the north coastal districts. During the day, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Revenue Dharmana Krishna Das and Mr. Das took stock of the impact of rains and relief measures being taken up in Srikakulam in a meeting attended by Collector Shrikesh B. Lathkar and other officials.

Evacuations in Odisha

Odisha had shifted 46,075 persons including more than 1,500 pregnant women and elderly persons to safer places in the southern districts, Relief Commissioner Pradip Jena said.

While 21 blocks received rainfall above 50 mm, the highest 148 mm was recorded in Potangi block of Koraput. A few roads in the southern districts were inundated but disaster response forces worked swiftly to restore road communication by removing uprooted trees.

Vehicular movement affected

“The vehicular movement on the the National Highway 26 connecting Raipur-Vijaynagaram was affected due to a landslip. Two 50-metre stretches in Sunki Ghat road along the NH-26 were blocked. Those roadblocks would be cleared shortly,” said Abdaal M. Akhtar, Koraput Collector.

“The deep depression over south Odisha and adjoining south Chhattisgarh moved westwards and lay centred over south Odisha and adjoining south Chhattisgarh,” said the latest bulletin of the IMD.

“It is likely to move nearly westwards and weaken into a depression during the next six hours and into a well-marked low pressure area during the subsequent 24 hours.”

Though major damage to the public infrastructure including power distribution lines was not noticed, all Collectors of the affected districts were asked to submit their damage assessment report immediately, said the SRC.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 10:35:10 AM |

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