Nearly 900 people residing in villages along the southern coast of Andhra Pradesh have been evacuated to safety. With the severe cyclonic storm Michaung anticipated to hit Bapatla district within hours, residents have been advised against going outdoors.
Bapatla district superintendent of police Vakul Jindal told PTI that people living in thatched houses in the region have been evacuated. He said 21 cyclone shelters have been set up, even as 10 trees got uprooted and 12 bridges and culverts are overflowing in the district.
“As of now there is not much of a human impact. It is raining and a bit windy. We have cleared the uprooted trees and stopped vehicle movement at overflowing places. We are vigilant and we will see what happens and respond accordingly,” Jindal said.
While some people were moved to shelters in vehicles, people living nearby walked there.
Heavy rains continue to lash several parts of Andhra Pradesh as the severe cyclonic storm ‘Michaung’ looming over the Bay of Bengal sea close to Andhra Pradesh and adjoining Tamil Nadu coasts is moving closer by the hour to its landfall area.
The Amaravati Meteorological Centre noted that the current intensity of gales near the centre of the severe cyclonic storm is 90 – 100 km per hour and gusting up to 110 kmph.
The weather system over west-central Bay of Bengal off Andhra Pradesh and adjoining north Tamil Naud coasts moved northwards at a speed of 10 km per hour in the past six hours up to 7:30 am on Tuesday.
By that time, it lay centred near the latitude of 15.1 degrees north and longitude 80.25 degrees east, about 35 km north to northeast of Kavali, said an Amaravati Meteorological Department official in a press release.
It also lay 70 km north to northeast of Nellore, 90 km south to southwest of Bapatla, 150 km south to southwest of Machilipatnam and 230 km north of Chennai.
Incidentally, the weather system is moving northwards close to the coast and some parts of the wall cloud region already lie overland.
It is likely to move nearly northwards parallel and close to south Andhra Pradesh coast and cross it between Nellore and Machilipatnam, close to Bapatla in some hours as a severe cyclonic storm.
‘Michaung’ is expected to cross with a maximum sustained wind speed of 90-100 kmph and also gusting to up to 110 kmph.
The Meteorological Department forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall, accompanied by gales in parts of Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday and Wednesday. It also forecast extremely heavy rainfall in isolated places.
On Tuesday, it forecast extremely heavy rainfall, greater than 204.4 mm, in isolated places of Konaseema, West Godavari, Eluru, Krishna, NTR, Palnadu, Bapatla and Prakasam districts, along with heavy to very heavy rainfall, 115.6 mm to 204.4 mm, in parts of these districts.
Likewise, it forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall in parts of Alluri Sitharamaraju, Kakinada, East Godavari, Kadapa and Nellore districts.
Further, the Meteorological Department forecast heavy rainfall, 64.5 mm to 115.5 mm, in parts of Srikakulam, Parvathipuram Manyam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Anakapalli, Nandyala, Annamayya and Tirupati districts.
Except for the four Rayalaseema districts of Kurnool, Anantapur, Sri Sathya Sai and Chittoor, several parts of the rest of the state are expected to be pounded by rains.
Several parts of West Godavari district have been witnessing intermittent rainfall since Sunday night.
Between 8.30 am on Monday and 6.30 am Tuesday, the Meteorological Department recorded a rainfall of 213.6 mm in Bapatla, Nellore (209.5 mm), Machilipatnam (149.3), Kavali (142.6 mm), Ongole (114.4 mm), Kakinada (59 mm) and Narasapuram (58.5), among others.