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regular-article-logo Thursday, 22 February 2024

Cyclone Michaung poised for landfall on December 5, Andhra Pradesh on high alert

CM Jagan Mohan Reddy directed the officials to treat the storm as a major challenge to avoid loss of life and property as the winds are expected to blow gales reaching speeds of up to 110 kilometres per hour

PTI Hyderabad Published 04.12.23, 10:50 PM
Representational image.

Representational image. File Photo

With the severe Cyclone Michaung poised for landfall by the Bapatla coast on Tuesday, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday directed officials to be on high alert for taking up relief measures.

In view of the heavy rain lashing Andhra Pradesh under the influence of the severe cyclonic storm, the state government issued an alert for eight districts -- Tirupati, Nellore, Prakasam, Bapatla, Krishna, West Godavari, Konaseema and Kakinada -- while the chief minister set several relief efforts in motion.

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In a review meeting at his camp office, Reddy directed the officials to treat the storm as a major challenge to avoid loss of life and property as the winds are expected to blow gales reaching speeds of up to 110 kilometres per hour.

"Special officers have been appointed for all cyclone-affected districts, besides releasing Rs 2 crore each for rescue and relief works. The special officers will work in close coordination with the collectors and, if more funds are needed, the government will comply with the request," Reddy said in a release.

He called on the official machinery to tap into its experience of handling Cyclone Hudhud and take advance relief measures, engage the services of ward and village secretariats, including tapping the services of village clinics, Rythu Bharosa Kendras and others.

In the event of civic amenities being adversely affected in any area, the officials should restore those immediately, he said.

According to a statement from the Chief Minister's Office, the severe cyclonic storm is expected to make landfall near Bapatla around noon on Tuesday, accompanied by winds reaching speeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour.

Gales are also expected to gust with speeds reaching up to 110 kilometres per hour during Tuesday forenoon.

The weather system is expected to persist till Thursday and thereafter become a deep depression and subside, the statement said.

The officials have been directed to focus on safeguarding crops, especially by procuring paddy and saving the kharif harvest.

Until Sunday, up to 97,000 tons of paddy has been collected while 6.5 lakh tons of paddy moved to storage locations with instructions to manage the moisture content.

Reddy directed the officials to procure all types of discoloured and wet paddy from farmers, along with educating them on safeguarding their crops that are yet to be harvested.

He called for an enumeration of the crop loss immediately after the cyclone recedes.

Meanwhile, the evacuation process of the people affected is underway and 181 of the 308 required relief camps have been opened.

Reddy instructed the officials to prioritise the safe transportation of pregnant women, lactating mothers and the elderly, and to monitor the spread of communicable diseases.

Five National Disaster Response Force and an equal number of State Disaster Response Force teams have been deployed in the affected districts.

Further, the chief minister directed the special officers to focus on the medical, food and drinking water needs of the evacuees. While returning from the relief camps, officials have been directed to handover financial assistance of Rs 2,500 per family and Rs 1,000 in case of individual evacuees.

For severely affected thatched houses, Reddy directed the officials to distribute an aid of Rs 10,000.

Additionally, food rations of 25 kilogramme rice, along with pulses, edible oil, onions and potatoes will be distributed to the evacuees.

Reddy directed the officials to be empathetic towards those affected. The chief minister said he will visit the affected places and does not wish to hear complaints from the people after the cyclone subsides.

Cyclone Michaung is looming over west-central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal, off the coasts of south Andhra Pradesh and adjoining north Tamil Nadu.

It lay 80 kilometres southeast of Nellore, 120 kilometres north to northeast of Chennai, 210 kilometres south of Bapatla and 250 kilometres south to southwest of Machilipatnam.

It is likely to move northwards parallel and close to the south Andhra Pradesh coast and cross between Nellore and Machilipatnam, close to Bapatla during the forenoon of Tuesday as a severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds reaching up to 110 kilometres per hour, the Amaravati Meteorological Centre said.

By 6 pm on Monday, Kakinada had logged rainfall of 25 mm, Machilipatnam (28 mm), Nellore (76 mm), Ongole (34 mm), Tirupati (64 mm), Kavali (66 mm), Narasapuram (39 mm) and Tuni (20 mm), among others.

The Met reiterated its forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall, accompanied by gales, in parts of Andhra Pradesh till Wednesday. It also forecast extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places.

Tirupati Airport Director KM Basavaraju told PTI that all flights, 14 scheduled and one non-scheduled, were cancelled on Monday due to the inclement weather.

Due to the incessant rain, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams has temporarily barred devotees from the holy bath at the Sri Kapilathirtham falls.

Nara Lokesh, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) general secretary, postponed his Yuva Galam' padayatra (political walkathon) by three days due the inclement weather.

Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy also requested his Andhra Pradesh counterpart's help and support to Yanam, a Union Territory town located by Kakinada district.

Rangasamy wrote to Reddy, seeking Andhra Pradesh's cooperation and support to supplement the precautionary and preventive measures taken by the Yanam administration.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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