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Relief as Asani spares Andhra Pradesh
Weakened storm heads towards Odisha
Visakhapatnam: Andhra Pradesh is on alert after cyclonic storm Asani changed its directions at least five times during the last two days and took a curve near Machilipatnam on Wednesday evening and started travelling at a speed of 7 km in north east direction along Narsapur, Yanam and Kakinada.
The storm dipped into sea at Visakhapatnam late on Wednesday night and was moving towards Odisha. According to IMD, the storm got weakened from severe cyclone to depression by Thursday morning resulting in moderate to heavy rains at many places. There have been continuous torrential rains in several parts of Kakinada and Konaseema districts. The officials of the coastal districts heaved a sigh of relief as the cyclone got weakened. Earlier, it was predicted that the coastal districts will get severe cyclone storm. Some parts of Guntur, Konasaeema and Kakinada districts registered rains on Wednesday. Normal to heavy rains forecast on Thursday in some parts of the coastal Andhra.
Gales with speed of 70 kmph to 90 kmph likely to prevail along and off Krishna, East and West Godavari, Yanam and Puducherry Union Territories, and Visakhapatnam districts. Some other areas in coastal districts will experience gales with speed of 60 kmph on Thursday morning. The ripple effects of the Cyclone Asani are expected to be seen over Telangana where moderate rainfall with lightening is expected in some parts of the state.
As per the latest IMD update, the cyclonic storm will weaken further into a depression by Thursday morning. Andhra Pradesh is witnessing heavy rain, strong winds and turbulent sea with the cyclonic storm approaching its coast. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into west central Bay of Bengal along and off Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts on May 11 and into Northwest Bay of Bengal till May 12.
Cyclone Asani has affected several flight operations. Spice Jet Kolkata-Visakhapatnam-Kolkata were cancelled. All IndiGo flights (22 arrivals and 22 departures) and Air Asia flights were cancelled.
Gale and heavy rains uprooted trees blocking the highway in Andhra Pradesh's Manyam as Cyclone Asani approached the coastal areas of the state.
The Collectors of Alluri Sitarama Raju, Anakapalli, Bapatla, Eluru, Kakinada, Konaseema, Krishna, Nellore, NTR, Parvathipuram Manyam, Prakasam, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and West Godavari districts were put on high alert.
About 454 rehabilitation camps were set up in different parts of the state. Diesel generators and earth movers were kept on standby to meet any eventuality. A few houses of fishermen in Uppada were washed away. Following reports that the cyclone will be severe, 90 NDRF teams were positioned to meet any challenge.
Guntur and Bapatla reported damage to plantain, papaya and betel plantations.
Several parts of Odisha and West Bengal are bracing for heavy rain. Odisha government has put five southern districts - Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Ganjam and Gajapati - on high alert.