Cyclone Gulab made landfall on Sunday evening, splashing heavy rains along with strong winds over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and adjoining south coastal Odisha.
Then, around 2:30 am on Monday, the cyclonic storm weakened into a deep depression over north Andhra Pradesh and adjoining south Odisha, said the IMD. It is likely to continue moving west-northwestwards and weaken further into a depression during the next six hours.
The landfall process commenced around 6pm between Miduguda and Tokali villages near Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Gopalpur in Odisha as the cloud bands entered the coastal region.
THE CLOUD BANDS ARE ENTERING THE COASTAL REGIONS AND THUS THE LANDFALL PROCESS, WHICH COMMENCED AT AROUND 1800 HRS IST, CONTINUES AND WILL CONTINUE FOR NEXT 2-3 HOURS OVER NORTH COASTAL ANDHRA PRADESH AND ADJOINING SOUTH COASTAL ODISHA. .
— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) September 26, 2021
Under its influence, light to moderate rainfall has already started in Odisha’s southern districts of Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Koraput and Malkangiri as well as in the central coastal districts of Kendrapada, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda, Puri and Nayagarh
Cyclone Gulab is likely to weaken into a deep depression and enter Koraput district after making landfall at Santhaguda in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh.
Bhubaneswar Met Centre Director HR Biswas said, “The cyclone has completed landfall. It will enter Odisha’s Koraput district at around midnight and will weaken to a deep depression in the next six hours.”
Stating that over 39,000 people including 600 pregnant women, differently-abled and elderly persons have been evacuated to safety before the cyclone’s landfall, Special Relief Commissioner P K Jena said there was no such noticeable or remarkable damage done in the state.
He said many precautionary measures were taken to avoid any untoward incident. “Our officials are on high alert and visiting places to oversee preparedness,” the SRC said.
Odisha’s SRC, in its latest alert, said the cyclone is likely to enter Koraput after the landfall. But there has not been much impact of the cyclone on Odisha so far.
Except for rain in some parts, the wind speed has not been alarming in Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada districts, which were forecast to be in the path of the cyclone, Jena added.
However, life seemed normal in Puri as moderate rainfall continued in the district with a wind speed of 40kmph. Tourists were seen moving around the beach freely.
No casualties or loss of property in Odisha have been reported till now.
The cyclone, the second one to have an impact on the state in four months after ‘Yaas’ wreaked havoc in May, apparently had less impact even as the administration was expecting noticeable damages, an official at the revenue and disaster management department said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is on a tour to New Delhi, through a video conference reviewed the preparedness and set “zero casualty” target and told the authorities that every life is precious and should be protected at any cost.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also called up Patnaik and assured him of all support from the Centre to face the challenges posed by cyclone Gulab.
The Indian Navy also closely monitored the movement of the cyclone and kept naval ships and aircraft on standby for rescue and relief operations. The Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam and naval officers in charge of Odisha have carried out preparatory activities to combat the effects of the cyclone, according to an official statement.
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