Seven die as Helen devastates Andhra Pradesh
By Express News Service | Published: 23rd November 2013 08:01 AM |
Severe cyclonic storm Helen made landfall near Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh on Friday and left in its wake death and devastation, particularly in East Godavari and Krishna districts. Seven deaths were reported in the region, of which four were officially confirmed.
As the cyclone crossed the coast, high velocity winds with speeds reaching up to 120 kmph uprooted trees and electric poles in the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam. Heavy to very heavy rainfall occurred in most of these districts.
AP Disaster Management Commissioner C Parthasarathi said 16,290 people were evacuated to safer places. The Disaster Management Commissioner said 10 teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed for rescue operations.
A control room to monitor the situation has been opened at the State Secretariat in Hyderabad.
About 4,000 people were evacuated from coastal areas in East Godavari district. The heavy rain and winds hit farmers hard in Krishna and the twin Godavari districts. At many places in Konaseema in East Godavari, coconut and banana plantations were damaged. Paddy crop ready for harvest was submerged at several places.
The Met department has forecast isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall at most places in the coastal districts in the next 24 hours. Telangana too is likely to receive rainfall at many places.
Six deaths were reported from East Godavari district alone.
A 60-year-old man was crushed to death when a coconut tree fell on him at Ketanapalli village in Krishna district.
ONGC workers rescued six of the 25 fishermen, who had gone for fishing on Thursday off the coast of Kakinada. The Coast Guard launched a search and rescue operation to save the rest.
The sea was rough at several places along the coast of Kakinada. The route between Kakinada and Uppapada at Kothapeta was badly damaged, forcing officials to close it.
National Disaster Management Authority vice-chairman M Sasidhar Reddy, who reviewed the situation, said the damage was mainly in Machilipatnam division in Krishna district, Amalapuram division in East Godavari district and Narsapuram division in West Godavari. Crops in about one lakh hectares, ready for harvest, were damaged in West Godavari district, he said.