Cyclone Laila hits Andhra Pradesh, 40000 evacuated

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Hyderabad, May 20 (ANI): Nearly 40,000 people were on Thursday evacuated from low-lying areas of coastal Andhra Pradesh as cyclone 'Laila' is expected the cross the State's coast this evening with a wind speed of 120 kilometers per hour.

The Meteorological department has warned of six-foot high tidal waves.

A senior Disaster Management Department official said: "We have moved about 40,000 people from vulnerable villages to safety."

The latest bulletin issued by the Meteorological department in Delhi says that Cyclone Laila is showing signs of weakening.

"It is currently centered along the Andhra coast, from Nellore to Visakhapatnam. It may cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Kavali and Kakinada. Tidal waves are likely to inundate the coastal areas of Guntur, Krishna and West and East Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh at the time of landfall," Met department said.

Earlier, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and asked for assiastance from armed forces to help in rescue efforts.

Heavy to very heavy rains have devastated large coastal stretches of north Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Strong winds at a speeds of between 65 to 70 kilometers per hour have been lashing the region since Tuesday night, uprooting trees and damaging electricity and communication towers in some districts.

The authorities have flagged danger signal seven in all sea ports and fishermen have been strongly cautioned about venturing out to sea.

According to Met Department officials, the Cyclone Laila would bring widespread rainfall with scattered heavy to very heavy falls and isolated extremely heavy falls during the next 48 hours in north coastal Tamil Nadu and coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Meanwhile the Andhra Pradesh Government has opened over 120 relief camps. (ANI)

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