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Cyclone threatens Andhra Pradesh; eight dead

Last updated on: May 18, 2010 21:47 IST

With the cyclonic storm "Laila", formed in the Bay of Bengal further intensifying into a severe cyclonic storm and the outer periphery of the system reaching very close to Andhra coast, authorities have started evacuating people from low-lying areas in the region to safer places. At least eight people died and 19 fishermen were missing in different rain-related incidents in the state on Tuesday.
 
The system lay centred 500 km south east of Visakhapatanam, this evening.
 
The cyclone warning centre in Visakhapatanam in its latest bulletin has warned that the severe cyclone was likely to cross the Andhra coast between Visakhapatanam and Ongole in Prakasham district. The region was expected to experience powerful gale winds of 80 to 100 kms per hours, uprooting trees, electricity poles and other structures including the houses.
 
The police, along with revenue department, was busy in evacuating the people from Kakinada beach.
 
Different parts of the state have started feeling the impact of the severe cyclonic storm as  at least 8 people died in different rain-related incidents. While two people died in Keesara near Hyderabad when lightening struck them, four workers died as gale winds brought down an industrial shed in Pyapli mandal of Kurnool district. A mother and daughter died due to lightening in Illerur village in Garledinne mandal of Anantapur district.
 
Some parts of Hyderabad and its outskirts experienced heavy rains with powerful winds on Monday evening uprooting trees and damaging houses.
 
According to reports, 10 fishermen from Uppada mandal in East Godavari district went missing after their boat capsized near Subbampet village. Search was on for them. Three fishermen of Mutkur village in Nellore and six from Prakasham district were also missing. Coast Guard has been put on alert to find them.
 
As the weather office has warned that very heavy to heavy rains will start along the coast from tonight itself, the government was keeping a close watch on the situation and entire state machinery was put on alert.
 
Chief Minister K Rosaiah, who met thrice with the ministers and officials throughout the day, has directed the officials to ensure that there was no loss of life due to the cyclone.  

The National Disaster Management Authority and Ministry of Home Affairs have started moving national disaster relief teams to the districts likely to be hit by the cyclone. 

The NDMA has directed four companies of national disaster relief force to move from Mundali and Arakonam to start moving to coastal Andhra along with essential equipment tonight itself.

These companies along with their inflatable boats, flood rescue and other equipments will be deployed in Visakhapatanam, Vijaywada, Ongole, Guntur and Nellore.

 

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad