Cyclone Gulab landfall begins over Andhra Pradesh, Odisha
The landfall process of Cyclone Gulab began over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and adjoining south coastal Odisha around 6 pm on Sunday, the India Meteorological Department said.The cyclone hit the area between Andhra Pradesh’s Kalingapatnam and Odisha’s Gopalpur coasts and is expected to cross it in the next three hours. The wind speed of the cyclone was about 90 kmph during the landfall, an official told PTI.National Disaster Response Force Director General Satya Pradhan said on Twitter that the rainfall and wind speed have picked up in Andhra Pradesh’s Shrikakulam district. However, the situation was under control, he said.The National Disaster Response Force has deployed 13 teams in Odisha and five in Andhra Pradesh. Rescuers had earlier began evacuating people from Odisha’s Ganjam and Gajapati districts according to The Hindu. More than 100 fire brigade teams and 42 teams of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force have also been sent to Gajapati, Ganjam, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, and Kandhama districts, PTI reported.Meanwhile, the Indian Navy said that it was closely monitoring the movement of the cyclone and has kept ships and aircraft on standby for rescue and relief operations.In a statement, the Navy said that flood relief and diving teams have been deployed in both the states to provide immediate assistance. It said that two naval ships were positioned in the sea with disaster relief material and medical teams.Aircraft were also kept ready at naval air stations INS Dega in Visakhapatnam and INS Rajali near Chennai for conducting aerial surveys of the most-affected areas and for airdropping relief material, the statement said. The weather department has warned about flooding in southern districts of Odisha. The Indian Meteorological Department had also predicted extremely heavy rainfall in parts of south Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh.Meanwhile in Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy held a meeting with officials on Saturday to review preparations for the cyclone, PTI reported.Disaster management officials in Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam districts are on alert. District collectors are setting up relief camps at several locations. In villages secretariats, control rooms have been established, PTI reported.Thirty-four trains have been cancelled because of the weather warning, according to bulletins issued by the East Coast Railway said.