VIJAYAWADA: With Cyclone Nivar hurtling towards the south coast of Andhra Pradesh, the state government has sounded a high alert in all districts, particularly Nellore, Chittoor and three other Rayalaseema districts.
In its special bulletin issued on Tuesday evening, the IMD said Cyclone Nivar, which lay centred at 11:30 hours on Tuesday at 430 km east-southeast of Chennai, is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclone in the next 12 hours and very severe cyclonic storm during the subsequent 12 hours.
Nivar is likely to make landfall between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry late on Wednesday evening as a very severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph.
Under its influence, extremely heavy rainfall is likely in isolated parts of Nellore and Chittoor districts on Wednesday and heavy to very heavy rainfall in isolated parts of Rayalaseema and other coastal districts.
The IMD has issued a red warning (take action) for Chittoor and Nellore districts on November 25 and for Kurnool on November 26. Orange warning has been issued for Prakasam, Kadapa and Anantapur districts on November 25 and for Guntur, Prakasam, Nellore, Kadapa, Chittoor and Anantapur on November 26.
Heavy rains are expected in Kurnool, Guntur, Krishna, East Godavari, West Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts on Wednesday and in East Godavari, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts on Thursday.
IMD Amaravati head S Stella said on Wednesday that gale winds with a speed of 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph will be experienced in Nellore, Chittoor, Prakasam, Guntur and Krishna districts. As the sea condition will be very rough, all fishing operations along the coast in the state have been suspended. Fishermen have been warned not to venture out into the sea for the next two days. Those who have ventured out are being advised to reach the harbour at the earliest.
Thatched houses, huts, power and communication lines, kutch and some pucca roads are expected to get damaged due to high velocity winds. Trees are likely to get uprooted. Damage is also likely to be caused to horticulture crops like banana, papaya trees and other standing crops. Embankments and salt pans are also likely to get damaged during the cyclone.
Meanwhile, taking stock of the situation in the state in the wake of the IMD warning on the cyclone's impact in the state, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday evening asked officials to be prepared to face any eventuality. He directed them to take every precautionary measure to prevent human and property loss.
He asked the officials to initiate measures for protecting the crops and send necessary advice to the farmers through Rythu Bharosa Kendras on how to protect the harvested crop. In case the crop is yet to be harvested, farmers should be advised not to harvest them at this time in view of heavy rains.
Pointing out that most of the water bodies across the state are brimming with water following heavy rains in October, the Chief Minister directed irrigation officials to ensure those reservoirs and tanks do not breach.
“The situation at all the water bodies should be closely monitored. Officials should enlist services of village/ward secretariat staff and village/ward volunteers. NDRF and SDRF teams should be on standby with men and material to take up rescue and relief operations. Measures should be initiated to ensure restoration of power supply at the earliest in case of power interruption,” he said.
Instructing the officials to have teams prepared to clear uprooted trees at the earliest, the Chief Minister wanted control rooms to be set up in the mandal headquarters along with district collectorates. Officials were asked to draw up SOPs to be adopted during cyclones to every village secretariat. He also directed them to set up relief camps wherever necessary in Nellore, Chittoor and Prakasam districts.