Over 700 villages in Andhra may be hit by Cyclone Laila

May 19th, 2010 - 9:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, May 19 (IANS) Over 700 villages in four coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh are likely to be affected by a severe cyclonic storm that is expected to hit the coast Thursday morning, officials said Wednesday.

The districts of East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur may bear the brunt of the cyclone Laila, which is likely to cross the coast between Nellore and Kakinada close to Machilipatnam.

The government released a list of 777 villages which are vulnerable to storm surge as a result of the cyclone, which lay centred at 250 km south-southeast of Machilipatnam.

“Storm surge of 1.5 to 2 metres above the astronomical tide is likely to inundate the coastal areas of Guntur, Krishna and West and East Godavari districts at the time of landfall,” the India Meteorological Department said.

As many as 338 vulnerable villages are in East Godavari district, where the port city of Kakinada is also likely to be affected, the government said.

Krishna district has 233 vulnerable villages, Guntur 158 and West Godavari 48 villages. The port city of Machilipatnam is also likely to be hit hard.

The authorities have started evacuating people from vulnerable villages and asked people to move to safer places on their own by Wednesday night.

District collectors have been told to use police, where necessary, to move people.

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