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Andhra on alert as cyclone heads towards Visakhapatnam
Thursday October 9, 2014 3:01 PM, IANS

Andhra Pradesh has put its coastal districts on alert as cyclonic storm, 'Hudhud', over Bay of Bengal is heading towards the coast and is likely to make a landfall near Visakhapatnam Sunday.

Authorities in north coastal districts of Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram and Visakhapatnam and also in East Godavari and West Godavari districts sounded an alert.

The India Meterological Department (IMD) has issued cyclone alert for north coastal Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts.

Chief Secretary I.Y.R. Krishna Rao, who reviewed the situation during a video-conference Thursday morning, directed the district collectors to take all precautionary measures. He also asked them to evacuate people from low-lying areas, wherever necessary.

According to an IMD bulletin Thursday morning, the severe cyclonic storm lay centered about 750 km southeast of Gopalpur and east-southeast of Visakhapatnam.

"The system would continue to move west-northwestwards, intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during next 24 hours," it said. The system would cross north Andhra Pradesh.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall is also forecast at a few places over east Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vijayanagaram and Srikakulam districts of north coastal Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha from Saturday evening.

The Met Office has forecast squally wind speed reaching 50-60 kmph along and off north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts from Saturday morning. The wind speed would increase to 130-140 kmph from Sunday morning along and off north Andhra coast and 80-90 kmph along and off south Odisha coast.

It also warned that storm surge would inundate low lying areas of East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vijayanagaram and Srikakulam districts of north coastal Andhra Pradesh at the time of landfall.

As the sea conditions will be rough, the weather office has suggested suspension of fishing operations.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has postponed his visit to Srikakulam district in view of the cyclone. He was scheduled to visit the district Saturday.

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