BHUBANESWAR: The Meteorological (MeT) department on Saturday warned that the cyclone Phethai will intensify and move towards Andhra Pradesh in the next 24 hours. "The deep depression in the south-eastern area of the Bay of Bengal has moved to the northern side with a speed of 17 Kilometres an hour and has now intensified and developed into a cyclonic storm named 'Phethai'. It is very likely to move to the northeastern side and cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Ongole and Kakinada during December 17," the statement from the meteorological department said.
The Met department predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in various districts of the state. The statement also said, "Light to moderate rain/thundershower likely to occur at many places over districts of south Odisha and a few places over districts of north Odisha on December 16, at many places over districts of Odisha on 17 and at a few places over districts of Odisha on December 18."
The Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada and Kalahandi districts are likely to experience heavy rainfall on Sunday. While on Monday, heavy rainfall is expected in various districts including Kalahandi, Malkangiri. Koraput, Rayagada, Nawarangpur.
In view of the cyclone, the government machinery in Adhya Pradesh is also on high alert. The NDRF and State Disaster Response Force have been positioned in five districts as the deep depression in the Bay of Bengal is set to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm and cross the coast between Ongole and Kakinada on Monday.
Two teams of SDRF (80 members) and two of NDRF (60 members) have been deployed in these districts with all necessary equipment for evacuation and rescue operations. Sixteen teams of Andhra Pradesh Disaster Response and Fire Services have been kept on reserve at Rajamahendravaram, while another nine (of five members each) have been positioned in West Godavari district for road clearance.
Coastal Andhra Pradesh and north Tamil Nadu are also likely to experience rainfall in the next two days with the system making landfall between Ongole and Kakinada in the neighbouring state on Monday. East Godavari District Collector Kartikeya Misra declared a two-day holiday for all schools in eight coastal mandals in view of the cyclone threat.