Cyclone Fani: AP coastal district reels under rain, no loss of life reported

Amaravati: Even as Cyclone Fani made its windfall Odisha coast yesterday, the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh received heavy rain. No human casualties have been reported till now.

However, over 2,000 electricity poles were uprooted and 218 cellular phone towers damaged. Nine head of cattle and 12 sheep were killed in rain-related incidents, said a media report.

It was the Andhra Pradesh government’s Real-Time Governance Centre (RTGC) that tracked the cyclone’s movement round-the-clock for the last two days and predicted the exact landfall at Puri. The Odisha government lauded the AP government for this. Odisha government officials called RTGC Chief Executive Officer Babu Ahamed over phone yesterday and thanked him for constantly updating them about the cyclone’s movement. Earlier, AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu told reporters that the precise movement of the cyclonic storm could be predicted by the RTGC.

Because of the advance warning, about 11 lakh people had already been evacuated from vulnerable and low-lying areas of at least 11 coastal districts of Odisha by Thursday.

State Chief Electoral Officer Gopal Krishna Dwivedi had written to the Election commission of India in view of the cyclone, and the ECI has relaxed the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts.

Because of heavy rains in Odisha, there was a likelihood of floods in Bahuda and Vamsadhara rivers, warned Srikakulam district collector J Nivas.

According to media reports, the impact of the cyclone was felt in 145 villages spread over four revenue mandals and two towns. Horticulture crops in 406 hectares, paddy in 187 hectares, commercial crops like groundnut, cotton, maize, tobacco and sunflower in 555 hectares suffered damage in the rains, said the report. 3,334 families have been sheltered in relief camps. Ichchapuram and Kaviti mandals in Srikakulam district, bordering Odisha, received the maximum 23.25 cm of rain from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm.

In other places in the district, rainfall ranging from one cm to 8 cm was recorded, according to the State Disaster Management Authority. As many as 2,129 electricity poles were uprooted because of high velocity winds while 218 cellular phone towers were also damaged. As adequate number of new poles were kept ready, the damaged ones would be replaced on a war-footing.

The South Central Railway cancelled four Express trains on the east coast section for the next three days and a special Express train has been arranged from Visakhapatnam to Mumbai today to clear the rush of passengers stranded due to cancellations.

Meanwhile, East Godavari district Collector Kartikeya Misra said 82 people from Hope Island off Kakinada were shifted to a relief camp in the city and another relief camp was opened for 250 people from U Kothapalli mandal.

NT Bureau