Relief for coastal Andhra as cyclone threat dissipates

November 8th, 2010 - 1:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Nov 8 (IANS) People in southern coastal Andhra Pradesh heaved a sigh of relief as a very severe cyclonic storm over southwest Bay of Bengal weakened into a deep depression.

The met department, however, has forecast rains at most places with heavy to very heavy downpour at a few places over north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the next 12 hours. Rains are likely during the period at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy downpour over Rayalaseema and south coastal Andhra Pradesh.

In view of the forecast, Andhra Pradesh’s coastal districts remain on alert. Warning signal three was hoisted at all ports on Andhra coast. The government has declared Monday a holiday for all schools and colleges in Nellore district.

Southern coastal districts of the state, which were on high alert for the past couple of days, escaped the fury of cyclone ‘Jal’ as it dissipated into a deep depression, moved northwestwards and crossed the coast close to north of Chennai in Tamil Nadu late Sunday night.

The deep depression further weakened into a depression over the Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh, and was expected to move west-northwestwards and weaken further gradually Monday, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The deep depression triggered heavy rains in Nellore, Prakasam, Chittoor and adjoining districts. Squally winds with a speed of 60 to 70 km were also blowing through the coast.

The weakening came as a big relief for the coastal Andhra which had been battered by heavy rains over the last week, which killed 37 people and damaged crops in about 300,000 hectares.

Fearing devastation by Jal, the authorities had taken up evacuation of people from villages close to the coast and in low-lying areas.

Heavy rains claimed 10 lives in Nellore district Sunday while three others were reported missing.

Officials have opened 235 relief camps in Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur, Krishna and Chittoor districts.

The depression in Gulf of Thailand Oct 31 had gradually strengthened into a severe cyclone, sending the authorities into a tizzy. There was panic among people for the last two days due to rough sea conditions and high tidal waves at some place.

Meanwhile, under the influence of deep depression Hyderabad received rains since the early hours of Monday, significantly bringing down the temperature.

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