A depression in the Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a deep-depression by Thursday night and subsequently, a cyclonic storm by Friday morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a bulletin issued at 10 am this morning. The cyclone is likely to move west towards Andhra Pradesh and northern Tamil Nadu in the next 72 hours, it added.
The IMD has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall along the south coast of Andhra, north TN and Puducherry on December 15 and 16. It has warned fishermen against venturing out to sea this week and advised those deep in the sea to return to the coast by December 14. Wind speeds will pick up and reach up to 80 kilometres per hour by the weekend. Read this story in Tamil
The IMD has not confirmed that the cyclone will hit the Indian coast. However, if it intensifies into a cyclone, it will be called Phethai.
In November this year, cyclone Gaja ravaged Tamil Nadu, displacing about 3.78 lakh people and destroying 3.41 lakh houses. At least 1.04 lakh animals perished in the cyclone, while 11.32 lakh trees were uprooted.
Andhra, meanwhile, was hit by Cyclone Titli in October, which claimed the lives of at least eight people in the state. The damage to two of the worst-hit districts, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram, was estimated at Rs 3,435 crore, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had said. With wind speeds reaching 175 kilometres per hour, it had uprooted thousands of electricity and telecommunication poles, devastated coconut and cashew orchards, and flattened crops.