VIJAYAWADA: North coastal districts — Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam — are braced up for the impact of the cyclonic storm — Gulab — in the Bay of Bengal, which is hurtling towards the coast.
According to IMD forecast, the depression over the northeast and east-central Bay of Bengal moved westwards and intensified into a deep depression and lay centred at 5:30 am on Saturday — 590 km east-northeast of Kalingapatnam and 510 km east -south-east of Gopalpur in Odisha. By evening it is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and move westwards and cross the coast around Kalingapatnam between North Andhra and South Odisha on Sunday evening
Heavy rainfall is likely at isolated places in coastal Andhra Pradesh with light to moderate rainfall at several places across the state. Heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places in north coastal districts with light to moderate rainfall in the rest of the state is predicted for Sunday.
Squally wind speed reaching 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph likely over northwest and west-central Bay of Bengal and increase gradually becoming gale wind speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph.
Though there was an absence of high-velocity wind and rough sea off the coast of Visakhapatnam on Saturday morning, met department officials say it is calm before the storm. According to them, sea conditions will be rough to very rough off the coast of Andhra Pradesh and advised fishermen not to venture into sea.
District administrations of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam are monitoring the situation and the State Disaster Management personnel are kept on standby. Alert has been sounded in all vulnerable areas along the coast. First Warning Flag has been hosted in Visakhapatnam port and alert has been sounded in Gangavaram and Kakinada ports.