New Delhi/Hyderabad: A cyclonic storm on Wednesday hit the Andaman and Nicobar islands and is expected to reach the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha over the next 48-72 hours, the Met department said.
According to the meteorological department there was a deep depression area over the North Andaman Sea on Wednesday morning. The cyclone hit the islands near the Mayabandar between 12.30-1.30pm. This resulted in very-heavy rainfall in the islands.
As the cyclone moves west-northwestwards in the next 48 hours, it is expected to turn into a "very severe cyclonic storm", the weathermen said. It is likely to hit the eastern coast by October 12 midnight.
"The storm is likely to cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha between Kalingapatanam and Paradip by the night of the October 12. We are expecting the wind speed to be around 175-185 kmph. These areas will also experience very heavy rainfall," said a senior scientist at the Met department.
"We have sent an advisory to fishermen not to venture into Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. Fishermen out at sea along north Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have been advised to return to coast," the official added.
Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday put all its departments on high alert in view of the cyclone threat along north-coastal Andhra and Odisha even as chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy appealed to striking government employees in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions to return to work to meet any emergency.
Though they remained firm on their resolve to continue the strike till they get a clear assurance from the Centre to keep the state united, the APNGOs Association assured the chief minister that staff of revenue and other line departments would take part in rescue and relief operations in case of cyclone.
Reddy reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting with his Cabinet colleagues, chief secretary P K Mohanty and other top officials and asked the administration to "be prepared" to meet any emergency, a press release from the chief minister's Office said.
He told the chief secretary that helicopters and boats could be positioned in advance in vulnerable districts and services of Coast Guard too could be utilized. Reddy also asked him to mobilize vehicles and keep the National Disaster Response Force teams ready for rescue operations.
The chief minister wanted the power department to be on high alert as there was a likelihood of power disruption due to gales.
District collectors have been directed to get people from vulnerable areas evacuated to safer places, wherever required.
"All steps should be taken to protect lives and properties," the chief minister added.
According to the Met forecast, the depression that lay centred over north Andaman was expected to turn into a very severe cyclonic storm and cross north Andhra and Odisha coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradeep by the night of October 12 with a maximum sustained wind speed of 175-185 kmph.