Cyclonic storm weakens, crosses Andhra coastNovember 16th, 2008 - 2:58 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, Nov 16 (IANS) The cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal, which weakened into a tropical depression, crossed the Andhra coast early Sunday near Kavali in Nellore district, triggering heavy rains and gales in the region.According to Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre, the storm ‘Khai Muk’, which had considerably weakened and turned into a deep depression late Saturday, crossed the south Andhra coast. Strong gales with a speed of 60 to 70 km hit the coastal region.
The cyclonic storm was earlier threatening to hit the coast of Krishna district. There was panic among people in the coastal belt Saturday while the state government had alerted administration of all the nine coastal districts.
Though the state escaped the fury of a cyclonic storm, the authorities remained on alert as the weather office has forecast heavy rains in the region.
The district administrations of Nellore and adjoining Prakasam district were on high alert to meet any contingency arising out of heavy rains under the influence of the storm. People living in areas near the coast were evacuated.
The depression is moving in west-north westerly direction towards Rayalseema region and Karnataka. It will weaken gradually, said a bulletin from India Meteorological Department.
It has forecast heavy rains in south coastal Andhra and Rayalseema regions and isolated heavy rainfall in the Telangana region.
The district authorities in Nellore and Prakasam Sunday began evacuating people from low-lying areas.
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who held a tele-conference with top officials Sunday morning, directed them to take adequate measures to prevent loss to crops and property.
The heavy rains lashing Krishna and Guntur districts since Saturday have already destroyed paddy crops over thousands of acres.
In Krishna district alone, paddy crop over 600,000 acres was damaged. The district administration also evacuated 5,000 people from low-lying areas.
The state has 1,000 km long coast line along the Bay of Bengal and it is prone to cyclones and floods.
More than 100 people were killed in the floods and heavy rains this year.