Heavy rains and gales lashed coastal Andhra Pradesh even as the deep depression over the Bay of Bengal is expected to cross the coast later Friday.
Rains affected normal life in the nine coastal districts - Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur, Krishna, West and East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam and the interior districts of Chittoor and Kadapa - during the last 24 hours. Gales with speeds of over 60 kilometres per hour lashed Nellore and Prakasam districts. Around 10 centimetres of rainfall was recorded in these places since Thursday, disrupting rail and road traffic.
Principal Secretary (Revenue) D C Rosaiah told Rediff.com on Friday morning that the district collectors of Prakasam and Nellore have been put on high alert. A control room has been set up at the state secretariat to monitor the situation round-the-clock.
"The depression has not crossed the coast on Friday morning as expected. It is still more than 100 kilometres away from Nellore. We are keeping a close watch on the situation," he added.
Port authorities in Krishnapatnam, Vodarevu, Nizampatnam, Machilipatnam, Kakinada, Visakhapatnam, Bheemunipatnam and Kalingapatnam sounded cyclone alert and cautioned fishermen against venturing into the sea.
The administration has sounded an alert in 13 mandals in Nellore district and 10 mandals in Prakasam district, which are likely to bear the brunt of the storm's fury.
Revenue officials have begun shifting people from vulnerable areas to safer places. People have been cautioned against crossing the rivulets, lakes and streams that are overflowing.
The inclement weather also put off the state government's plans to resume air services to Visakhapatnam, suspended since October 14 due to inundation of the runway.
Several trains between various destinations in the state were affected. Some schools in Visakhapatnam and Prakasham were also closed due to water logging on the roads.
According to sources, four persons including two children were washed away in the overflowing Bommajigunta canal near Satyavedu in Chittoor district.
About 600 families were shifted to a marriage hall in Chittoor following landslide in the Kondamitta hills of Sarvanapuram village in the district.
With UNI inputs