Cyclone Phethai made a landfall at Katrenikona in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh on Monday. Nine coastal districts of the state have been put on high alert as the government scrambled to minimise the damage from the third such cyclone to hit the state this year. As the cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal headed towards the state and was likely to cross the region between Kakinada and Visakhapatnam, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu asked the collectors and authorities of the coastal districts to take all precautionary measures to avoid damage to life and property.
Real-Time Governance Society, Andhra Pradesh: #CyclonePhethai has made a landfall at Katrenikona in East Godavari district. Heavy rains and winds experienced in many areas in the district. Entire Konaseema region is receiving heavy rainfall. Govt alerts people to be careful.— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2018
The national and state disaster response forces have been kept on standby. The Indian Navy and coast guard have been called in to help as intensifying wind speeds of 100 kilometre per hour will likely make rescue efforts more challenging. According to the Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre, Phethai will intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm over the next few hours and weaken slightly before making a landfall. It laid centred about 560 km south-southeast of Machilipatnam and 600 km south-southeast of Kakinada on Sunday morning.
Watch: Rough sea and strong winds in Kakinada of East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh, Cyclone Phethai is expected to make a landfall this afternoon.
As many as 22 passenger trains have been cancelled, one train rescheduled and one train partially cancelled because of the rainfall due to Cyclone Phethai. The cyclone is expected to make a landfall this afternoon.
India Meteorological Dept: It's very likely to move nearly northwards & cross Andhra coast around Kakinada during 17th Dec afternoon. However, due to unfavourable environmental conditions, it's likely to weaken before landfall & cross the coast as cyclonic storm. #CyclonePhethai https://t.co/PYk0ykfbE6— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2018
Parts of the coastal region, especially Krishna district experienced rains and strong winds and the sea became rough. A storm surge of up to one metre could inundate the low-lying areas of Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur districts of coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Puducherry at the time of landfall. Fishermen were advised not to venture into the sea.
The Met office has forecast rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Puducherry on Monday. Squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph is likely along and off Andhra Pradesh. The gale speed may reach 100 kmph on Monday.
(With agency inputs)