Heavy rain lashes coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh

Heavy rain lashed coastal Andhra Pradesh on Thursday under the impact of severe cyclonic storm Phailin.

Heavy downpour drenched coastal towns in Krishna, Vizianagaram, East Godavari and West Godavari districts, and parts of Telangana such as Medak and Khammam, inundating low-lying areas. Gusty winds with a speed of 45 to 50 km per hour (kmph) were blowing across the coastal districts. Storm surge of 2 metres and above is expected in many areas.

With incessant rains up to 7 to 8 cm during the past 12 hours in Machilipatnam, Kalingapatnam, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Ongole, Chief secretary P K Mohanty held a video conference with collectors of the coastal districts and directed them to evacuate people from low-lying areas near the coast and provide them shelter in relief camps. The officials were also asked to store essential commodities.

A section of government employees in coastal Andhra who were on strike for nearly two months to oppose the central government’s decision to divide the state, returned to work on Thursday to participate in relief and rehabilitation work. Employees of the Narla Tata Rao Thermal Power Plant in Vijayawada have joined duty.

Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister N Raghuveera Reddy said the district officials were directed to seek help from the army, navy and air force for taking up rescue work wherever required. Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre has warned fishermen against venturing into sea. A second warning signal was hoisted at Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram, Kakinada, Machilipatnam, Krishnapatnam and other ports along the nearly 1,000 km long coast.

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