Three people were reported killed in Andhra Pradesh as cyclone Gulab barrelled through the state after making landfall late on Sunday near Kalingapatnam, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction across the two worst-hit districts of Srikakulam and Vizianagaram. Neighbouring Odisha was spared the worst of the cyclone, barring a tapering storm that caused subsidence in parts of the state, along with power supply and telecom disruptions.
In AP, the damage was widespread, with the fury of the cyclone throwing power supply and communication networks haywire and flattening crops spread across thousands of acres.
A 37-year-old woman, D Bhavani, was killed at Pendurthi in Visakhapatnam when the wall of her house collapsed. In West Godavari, a road transport corporation employee, P Nageswara Rao, was swept away in a flash flood caused by heavy rain. The third casualty was reported in Srikakulam district. Chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy announced an ex gratia of 5 lakh to the kin of those killed, and 1,000 each to families shifted to relief camps.
In Odisha, the Naveen Patnaik government had evacuated over 46,075 people, including1,533 pregnant women, to safer places before the cyclone hit. Though water levels of Rushikulya, Vansadhara and Mahendratanaya rivers are increasing, the government has ruled out the possibility of a major flood-like situation.
In a rare weather event, Cyclone Gulab that came across the Bay of Bengal to hit the eastern coast on Sunday, could be reborn as cyclone Shaheen by Thursday evening as it moves across the Arabian Sea after having petered off into a depression while traversing the Indian land mass through Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Over the next 24 hours, the system could gather steam and move towards Oman on October 1. If the new cyclone is formed, it would be called Shaheen, the name given by Qatar which is one of the member-countries for naming of tropical cyclones over north Indian Ocean including Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. “The system is likely to emerge into northeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Gujarat coast around September 30 and there is a likelihood for the system to further intensify over northeast Arabian Sea during the subsequent 24 hours,” said the IMD. The new cyclone won’t affect India’s western coast. But it will, on its way from east to west, continue to bring isolated heavy rains over Maharashtra and Gujarat during the coming three-four days. Indian coast-lines had experienced such cyclonic phenomena nearly three years ago when cyclonic storm Gaja crossed TN and Puducherry coast on November 15, 2018, weakened into a depression over land and re-emerged as a fresh depression over south-east Arabian Sea the next day.
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