The cyclonic storm ‘Michaung’ over westcentral and southwest Bay of Bengal off south Andhra Pradesh intensified into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ on Monday afternoon, and moved north-northwestwards with a speed of 10 kmph during the last six hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD), in a release on Monday evening, said.
As of 5.30 p.m., the storm lay centred over westcentral Bay of Bengal off south Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km southeast of Nellore, 120 km north-northeast of Chennai, 210 km south of Bapatla and 250 km south-southwest of Machilipatnam.
It is likely to move parallel and close to south Andhra Pradesh coast and cross the coast between Nellore and Machilipatnam, close to Bapatla, during forenoon of December 5, as a severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 90 to 100 kmph and gusting to 110 kmph.
The IMD has issued a red alert for a few districts in the State. Those that will receive extremely heavy rainfall on December 5 (Tuesday) and marked red are West Godavari, Konaseema, Eluru, Prakasam, Krishna, NTR, Bapatla and Guntur.
The districts that are likely to receive very heavy rainfall and marked orange are: East Godavari, Kakinda, YSR Kadapa, Nellore and Alluri Sitaramaraju. The north coastal Andhra Pradesh region, as well as Tirupati, Annamayya and Nandyal, is marked yellow, as it is expected to receive heavy rainfall.
Meanwhile, many places in the south coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema regions have recorded moderate to heavy rainfall during the last 24 hours ending 8.30 p.m. on Monday. According to the Andhra Pradesh State Development Planning Society, Tirupati and Nellore districts received the maximum rainfall, with Poolathota in Tirupati district recording 239 mm followed by Nellore (231 mm).
Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority Managing Director B.R. Ambedkar said that so far 7,361 people had been evacuated to safer places in the districts of Nellore, Prakasam, Krishna, Bapatla, Tirupati, Kakinada, West Godavari, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Konaseema, and 28,160 more people are likely to be evacuated.
CM takes stock
Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy instructed the State government machinery to ensure that there was no loss of life due to the incidents related to inclement weather conditions caused by the cyclone.
During a review meeting, he told the officials to treat the cyclone as a challenge and take the necessary steps to prevent loss of life and keep the property loss to the bare minimum. “Apart from undertaking the cyclone relief measures, the officials must take steps to save the kharif crops, especially the harvested paddy,” he said. “All types of discoloured and wet paddy should be procured to avoid kharif crop loss,” said Mr. Jagan.
The Chief Minister said that he would visit the cyclone-hit areas and there should be no complaints from any section of people on the relief measures taken by the Collectors. “All the essentials should be provided to the cyclone victims and proper sanitation should be maintained in the relief camps. The victims should be given ₹1,000 and ₹2,500 (individuals and families each respectively) when they leave the relief camps. There should not be any complaints on the relief measures undertaken,” he said.
Relief material including 25 kg of rice, red gram, palm oil, potato and onion 1kg each should be given to the people whose houses are submerged.If pucca and thatched houses are damaged in the cyclone, they should be compensated with ₹10,000 each, he said.
Officials said that five NDRF and five SDRF teams had been deployed in vulnerable areas. Of the required 308 camps, 181 relief camps had been opened and people were being shifted there from the vulnerable areas. The Chief Minister said that steps should be taken to open the rest of the camps.