Andhra Pradesh braces for another cyclone

Report
from Times of India
Published on 25 Nov 2013 View Original

V Kamalakara Rao, TNN Nov 25, 2013, 01.51AM IST

VISAKHAPATNAM: After Phailin and Helen, Andhra Pradesh is being threatened by Cyclone Lehar. Lehar intensified into a severe cyclonic storm on Sunday after being identified as a well-marked low pressure area by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Friday.

The cyclone is expected to make landfall between Machilipatnam and Kalingapatnam near Kakinada in East Godavari district on November 28 with a wind speed of 140kmph, IMD said in a special bulletin. The maximum wind speed is expected to be 200kmph between November 27 and 28.

Lehar had been centered over the Andaman Sea and moved west-northwestwards and centred about 200 km east-southeast of Port Blair. The system would move to southeast Bay of Bengal and gradually intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm. It would then move north-westwards and cross the Andhra Pradesh coast.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rainfall of 250 mm or more over the Andaman and Nicobar islands. Wind speeds of 50-70 kmph would prevail along and off the Andaman and Nicobar islands. The wind speed would gradually increase and reach 80-100kmph along and off the coast.

IMD warned that wave surges of 1-1.5 m are expected to inundate low-lying areas of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and that the sea condition will be very rough in the area.

The administration fears that there will be extensive damage to huts and minor damage to power and communication lines.

IMD has suggested that fishing operations be suspended and coastal hutment dwellers be moved to safer places.

The state has already suffered huge losses due to the two cyclonic storms, Phailin and Helen, since the first week of October.

"It is unbelievable that one witnesses three severe cyclonic storms in just two months in the history of northeast monsoon season along the Bay of Bengal. We can say that 2013 northeast monsoon is very active," OSRU Bhanu Kumar, emeritus professor of department of meteorology at Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, told TO