Waning Laila pounds AP

Waning Laila pounds AP

Storm claims 27 lives so far in nine coastal districts of the state

Waning Laila pounds AP

A man wades through a flooded street in Ongole district, Andhra Pradesh, on Friday. PTi

According to Andhra Pradesh minister for revenue, relief and rehabilitation, D Prasada Rao, “the threat is not over yet.”

He has advised people in relief camps not to return home unless the cyclone warning is withdrawn. While the south coastal districts are breathing easy, it is the turn of the north coastal areas to face the havoc spread by the cylone.

‘Laila’ crossed the coast near Bapatla on Thursday evening and moved towards north before emerging into the Bay of Bengal and remained stationary off Machilipatnam in Krishna district. Under its impact, the north coastal districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam reeled under heavy showers.

Heavy rain and gales have caused widespread destruction in the southern coastal region, the worst affected being Prakasam district.

The storm has claimed 27 lives so far in the nine coastal districts. Of these, five were of one family in Vijayawada who were buried alive when a wall collapsed on their hut at Chittinagar on Friday morning. As many as 1,047 villages have been severely affected while 71,000 persons have been evacuated and housed in 255 relief camps.

The minister said 1,70,000 food packets and 6.34 lakh water sachets were distributed in the relief camps.  The transport system, including road and rail, remained paralysed for the third day on Friday while electricity and communication systems have been damaged extensively.

Hundreds of villages remain without power while the worst-hit Ongole town in Prakasam district has had no power supply for 44 hours now. Nearly 30 colonies remained flooded. Over 300 army personnel and several teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been rushed to Ongole for rescue and relief operations.

Train services remained disrupted with several express and passenger trains either cancelled or running late on diverted routes. The South Central Railway officials put the loss at Rs 74 lakh. According to officials, agriculture and cash crops have been severely damaged. Standing paddy crops, mango orchards, betel vineyards, lime and lemon orchards have been destroyed.

Strong winds with speed crossing 100 km per hour uprooted hundreds of trees, electricity and communication towers, damaged power substations and destroyed crops over thousands of acres. As many as 2,000 fishing boats have been destroyed.

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