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AP struggles to stay afloat after Laila's fury

Last updated on: May 21, 2010 10:05 IST

AP struggles to stay afloat after Laila's fury

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The huge devastation caused by cyclonic storm Laila, in south coast of Andhra Pradesh, has emerged with the daybreak on Friday, with the death toll mounting to 23.

Four people died in Chittinagar area of Vijaywada following heavy rains -- the victims included two women and an infant.

Normal life was hit in the districts of Prakasham, Guntur and Krishna districts as the impact of the storm was felt more than 12 hours after it hit the coast near Bapatla on Thursday evening.

The area still reeled under gales of up to 95 km per hour accompanied by heavy-to-very heavy rains.

 


Image: A flooded road in Ongole district in Andhra Pradesh
Photographs: Snaps India
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Even as Andhra Pradesh is still reeling under the impact, trouble is lurking for the neighbouring states of Orissa and West Bengal.

The IMD has warned that the weakened cyclonic storm might recover in the northwesterly direction towards Orissa.

"There is a possibility of emergence of system in to north Bay of Bengal. In that case system may intensify again over the sea."

The IMD has forecast squally winds of 50 to 60 km per hour in Orissa and West Bengal on Friday and Saturday respectively along with very heavy rainfall in the two states.

 

 


Image: Nature unleashes fury, leaving a farmer in despair

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The Indian Meteorological Department has forecast that the gales are likely to continue for another 12 hours while the rains in coastal Andhra and Telangana will continue for another 24 hours.

Unprecedented rains, up to 55 cm at some places in Prakasham, have left many areas submerged.


Image: A broken road in Ongole district

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At Prakasham, the National Highway No 9 between Chennai and Kolkata is under four feet water.

Thousands of vehicles including trucks were stranded on the highway near Ongole. Bus service continued to be suspended.


Image: People stand in queue to collect relief materials

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Train services have been badly hit -- more than 60 trains passing through the coastal belt were cancelled and nearly 40 trains were diverted on Thursday and Friday.

With thick dark clouds hovering over the coastal belt, most areas are still enveloped in darkness.

Other places in Prakasham Kothapatnam (35 cm), Naguluppalapadu (34.2 cm) and Ongole (32.3 cm) also received heavy rains.


Image: Floodwaters enter homes in Ongole district

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A total of 51,000 people, who have been shifted to the 215 relief camps, may not be allowed to return immediately. Revenue minister Dharmana Prasad Rao appealed to them to be patient till the situation returned to normalcy.

While the state government said it had distributed more than 1 lakh food packets and nearly 3 lakh sachets of water, many in the camps complained of mismanagement.

 


Image: Nature's fury in Andhra Pradesh

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Aftermath of Laila's fury

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The IMD said the cyclonic storm had been over Bapatla till Thursday midnight and was likely to move in northerly and northwesterly direction towards Orissa.

Apart from the civil administration, the Indian army, navy and air force and the 1,200 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force have been involved in the relief and rescue measures.

 


Image: Destructed farm fields; another picture from Vijaynagaram district

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The IMD press release said under the influence of the cyclonic storm, widespread rainfall with scattered heavy-to-very heavy falls and isolated extremely very heavy falls (25 cm or more) were likely over north coastal Andhra and Telangana regions on Friday.

Both regions had escaped the direct fury of the cyclone.

Widespread rains with isolated heavy-to-very heavy rainfall have also been predicted in southern coast of Andhra including Prakasham and Guntur districts.

Winds at the speed of 75 to 85 km per hour are likely to continue for another 12 hours, the IMD added.

 


Image: A view in Vijaywada district

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