Cyclonic storm Helen to cross Andha coast today afternoon

Cyclonic storm Helen to cross Andha coast today afternoon - Sakshi Post

Hyderabad, After facing large scale devastation from 'Phailin' last month, Andhra Pradesh is bracing for another severe cyclonic storm `Helen' with wind speed of up to 110km per hour.

The cyclonic storm, located over west-central Bay of Bengal, is expected to cross Andhra Pradesh coast near Machilipatnam in Krishna district by evening tomorrow and affect three other districts--Guntur, West and East Godavari.

Under its influence, rainfall at most places, heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall (25cm or more) would occur over coastal Andhra during the next 48 hours, an official bulletin said today.

Also, rainfall would occur at most places in Rayalseema and Telangana regions on November 22 and 23. Storm surge of up to 1.5 metre high above astronomical tide would inundate low-lying areas of Guntur, Krishna, West and East Godavari districts at the time of landfall, it said.

Squally winds speed reaching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph would prevail along and off south Andhra Pradesh coast. The wind speed would gradually increase up to gale wind speed of 100-110 kmph, gusting to 120 kmph at the time of landfall over Guntur, Krishna, East and West Godavari districts. Sea condition will be rough to very rough along and off central and northern parts of Andhra Pradesh coast.

The cyclonic storm is expected to cause extensive damage to thatched roofs and huts, minor damage to power and communication lines, it said. The bulletin advised suspension of fishing operations and evacuation of coastal hutment dwellers to safer places and asked people in vulnerable areas to remain indoors.

Last month, Phailin, a severe cyclonic storm, had hit Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, killing over two dozen people and causing massive damage to property and crops.  The East Godavari district administration fully geared itself up today to face the threat from Cyclone Helen and declared a school holiday for tomorrow.

Collector Neetu Kumari Prasad said that the district administration is fully geared to face Cyclone Helen. We will monitor the situation tonight and take all precautionary measures to prevent human and property loss to the district due to the cyclone, she said. All special officers and zonal level officers have been directed to monitor the situation and evacuate people in the night after assessing the situation.

All schools in the coastal area will remain closed tomorrow and road traffic on the Uppada beach has been suspended, the collector said, adding that irrigation officials and other department officials have been directed to monitor water levels at various tanks, rivers, roads and electricity sub-stations in the district.

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