Cyclone Gulab National

Cyclone Gulab crosses coast near Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh

Fishermen bringing back their boat to safety in view Cyclone Gulab at Jalaripeta in Visakhapatnam on September 26, 2021.   | Photo Credit: K.R. DEEPAK

Cyclonic storm Gulab crossed the north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coast about 20 km north of Kalingapatnam, triggering widespread rain in the region on Sunday evening.

A youth was reportedly swept away in the Mahendra Tanaya river while he was trying to cross the river. The missing youth was identified as G. Ramu, who hailed from Sailada village.

Cyclone Gulab updates | September 26, 2021

Three members of a family escaped narrowly when a big tree fell on their house under the Khairput block of Malkangiri district.

Odisha evacuated around 40,000 people in six southern districts in view of the cyclonic storm.

“We have not yet received reports any major damages caused by the cyclone. We are expecting the wind speed to be around 50 km per hour when the cyclone passes over Odisha,” said Pradeep Kumar Jena, Special Relief Commissioner of Odisha.

Also read | Odisha sets ‘zero casualty’ target as cyclone ‘Gulab’ approaches, evacuation drive underway

The cyclone crossed the coast in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, where the wind speed was 70 km, he said.

Under the impact of the cyclone, trees were uprooted at isolated places while widespread rain lashed the hilly region of Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada and Malkangiri district.

“The cyclonic storm, ‘Gulab’ over northwest and adjoining westcentral Bay of Bengal moved nearly westwards with a speed of 27 kmph during past six hours crossed north Andhra Pradesh-South Odisha coasts, about 20 km north of Kalingapatnam with maximum sustained wind speed of 75-85 km per hour during 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm,” said India Meteorological Department in its latest bulletin.

“They atmospheric system lay centred over north coastal Andhra Pradesh about 160 km of south-southwest of Gopalpur (Odisha) and 30 km west of Kalingapatnam. It is likely to weaken into deep depression during next six hours and move nearly westwards,” it said.

“We are expecting the atmospheric system to remain active in Odisha till the forenoon of Monday. Subsequently, it would move to Chhattisgarh in the form of a deep depression,” said Mr. Jena.

During the day, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who was in New Delhi, reviewed the situation through video-conferencing. Mr. Patnaik emphasised saving precious lives by evacuating people from low-lying areas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Mr. Patnaik and extended all possible support to overcome the disaster.

Keeping the path of cyclone Gulab in mind, 42 units of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, 29 National Disaster Response Force and 103 fire brigades were pre-positioned at different places.

About 700 people, including many pregnant women, have been shifted in Gajapati district. Around 8,000 people would be evacuated to safer places. There is a possibility of landslips taking place in Gajapati district if heavy rain occurs under the influence of Gulab.

The East Coast Railway (ECoR) cancelled 28 trains, diverted five trains and rescheduled eight. Similarly, 11 trains have been regulated in South East Central and South Central Railway jurisdictions.

“In view of forecast of heavy rain with cyclonic wind, all necessary precautions have been taken by ECoR. Intensive and extensive patrolling in areas forecast to be affected are being ensured and monitored. Stationary watchmen have been deployed where heavy rainfall is likely. Bridges are kept under watch. Appropriate steps have been taken for electrical and signalling installations,” the ECoR said in a statement.

Andhra prepares

Andhra Pradesh Commissioner (Disaster Management) K. Kanna Babu directed officials of various departments to be prepared for any emergency in view of cyclone Gulab, likely to make a landfall between Kalingapatnam and Gopalpur, around midnight, and cause extensive damage to surrounding areas.

The Commissioner held a review meeting with the District Collector, the Joint Collector, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) Commissioner and district-level officials on Sunday.

The sea condition will be very rough to high on Sunday and Monday and fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea.

Tidal waves of 0.5 m height above the astronomical tide are likely to inundate the low-lying areas of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Ganjam districts during the cyclone’s landfall.

The cyclone is being monitored by the Doppler weather radar in Visakhapatnam as well as the coastal meteorological observatories.

Mr. Babu directed the officials and employees of the Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited, Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC), Fisheries, Revenue, Fire Services, Police and R&B Departments to be ready with the equipment to undertake emergency relief operations, based on need. The required information should be disseminated to the people living in coastal areas from time to time. He suggested utilising the services of village/ward volunteers for this purpose.

Fishermen should be prevented from going out to sea and those already at sea should be asked to return to the shore immediately. SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) should be followed by all departments, he said.

Collector A. Mallikarjuna said that discussions were held with the Police Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police (Rural) and the authorities were alerted on the need to be prepared for any eventuality.

GVMC Commissioner G. Srijana said that 300 water tankers had been kept ready for the supply of drinking water, and earthmoving equipment was ready to clear road blockages, if needed.

Joint Collector Venugopal Reddy was present.

(Inputs from Visakhapatnam Bureau)

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 3:05:39 AM |

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