September 27, 2021 3:34:04 am
A fisherman from Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh died and another went missing as the cyclonic storm Gulab crossed the Bay of Bengal coast Sunday.
Gulab’s landfall process started at around 6 pm on Sunday. The cyclone is likely to attain a maximum gusting speed of 95 kmph. The IMD said Gulab crossed the coast about 20 km north of Kalingapatnam, Andhra Pradesh as a cyclonic storm.
In Odisha, people from low-lying areas of Ganjam, Gajapati and Koraput districts were evacuated to safe locations. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that schools in 11 districts that are likely to be affected by Gulab will remain closed Monday. He also emphasised on a zero-casualty target in the vulnerable parts.
42 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, 24 National Disaster Response Force and 103 fire services teams have been deployed in the areas likely to be affected.
Engineering departments have been asked to keep a close watch on river embankments in Ganjam and Gajapati. The cyclone will have a major impact on land-locked areas like Koraput and Rayagada apart from the coastal districts of Ganjam and Gajapati, officials stated.
This will be the second cyclonic storm in four months to impact Odisha, after Yaas.
In Andhra Pradesh, six fishermen from Palasa returning to their village by sea in a boat they purchased in Odisha two days ago were caught in the storm. One of the six called his village over phone and informed them that their boat had capsized and that five of his fellow fishermen were lost at sea. Subsequently, his mobile too went silent, indicating that he may have gone missing. Three fishermen swam to safety while one perished. Another fisherman, assumed dead, returned home.
The Andhra Fisheries Minister has contacted Navy authorities to carry out a rescue operation.
The three coastal districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam had been receiving moderate to heavy rain. Srikakulam, which has been in the eye of the storm, received incessant downpour with heavy wind.
District Collector L Srikesh Balaji Rao said 61 relief camps have been opened in 13 mandals where close to 1,400 people have been lodged.
Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar directed all DCs to keep vigil as IMD has predicted heavy rains in the state.
With inputs from PTI
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