Cyclone Lehar to hit Andhra on Thursday, Centre assures full help

Cyclonic storm "Lehar", which is likely to hit the Andhra coast tomorrow afternoon, is centered about 520 km east-southeast of Machillipatnam and 470 km southeast of Kakinada, the MeT department said on Wednesday.

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

Hyderabad: Cyclonic storm "Lehar", which is likely to hit the Andhra coast tomorrow afternoon, is centered about 520 km east-southeast of Machillipatnam and 470 km southeast of Kakinada, the MeT department said on Wednesday.

According to M Mohapatra, scientist (cyclone warning), the "very severe cyclonic storm", currently with winds flowing up to 140-150 kmph, would intensify further and is likely to have strong winds with 150-160 kmph when it hits the Andhra Pradesh coast near Machillipatnam tomorrow.

Squally winds with speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph would commence along and off Andhra Pradesh from today evening.

It would increase in intensity with gale wind speed reaching 150-160 kmph gusting to 170 kmph along and off coastal districts of Guntur, Krishna, west and east Godavari and Vishakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Puducherry and 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph over Vizianagaram and Prakasham districts of coastal Andhra Pradesh at the time of landfall.

MeT officials said storm surge of height about 2-3 metres above astronomical tide would inundate low lying areas of west and east Godavari, Guntur and Krishna and Yanam districts and about 1 metre near Visakhapatnam district at the time of landfall.

The IMD further waned that the intensity of cyclonic storm Lehar will come down at the time of the landfall.

The `very severe` cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal will hit the coast near Machilipatnam in Krishna district Thursday afternoon but the wind speed will be 80-90 km per hour gusting to 100 kmph against the 200 kmph forecast earlier.

However, the authorities in five of the nine coastal districts remained on alert. They have evacuated over 26,000 people from vulnerable areas in view of the cyclone alert issued by the IMD.

The cyclone changed the course and it will now cross the coast near Machilipatnam instead of Kakinada in East Goadavari district.
C. Parthasarathi, commissioner, disaster management, told reporters Wednesday evening that the cyclone would weaken at the coast due to three reasons.

Quoting meteorologists, he said the wind speed would come down due to low temperature of the water at the coast, wind shear at the coast and also the winds blowing from central India.

The IMD has forecast rainfall at many places from Wednesday evening and heavy to very heavy falls at a few places over coastal Andhra Pradesh Thursday. Heavy rains were also forecast in Telangana Thursday and Friday.`

Centre assures all help to Andhra, Odisha

As cyclone `Lehar` approaches eastern coastline, the Centre has assured all help to Andhra Pradesh and Odisha to deal with the situation and sent National Disaster Response Force personnel to help the local authorities.

Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami reviewed the situation arising out of the approaching cyclone with National Disaster Management Authority, India Meteorological Department and all authorities concerned and directed them to offer all possible assistance to the two state governments to face the calamity.

Goswami also telephoned Chief Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha assuring them full central assistance before and after the landfall of cyclone `Lehar`, official sources said.
A contingent of NDRF personnel has been dispatched to Machillipatnam where Lehar`s landfall is expected today.

Both Andhra Pradesh and Odisha government have rushed disaster management personnel to at least 15 districts to tackle flash floods in the event of heavy rain and took measures to protect standing crops.

Fishermen who are in the deep sea are advised to return to the coast immediately. Sea condition will be rough to very rough today and tomorrow, the IMD said. PTI

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed as many as 30 rescue teams in coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh in consultation with the state government to assist in rescue work.

"30 teams have been deployed in Andhra Pradesh at tactical locations indicated by the State government. One team is also deployed at Yanam, Pudducheery (UT). Some additional teams have also been kept as reserve to enhance the deployment as per requirement of the situation," a statement issued by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said.

NDRF control room here is closely monitoring the situation round the clock and in touch with other stake holders for rescue and relief work, it said.

With Agency inputs

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