Cyclone Gulab: 2 dead as storm crosses Andhra, Odisha coasts, winds up to 100 Kmph
Bhubaneswar, Sep 26: Two fishermen died in Andhra Pradesh and another remained missing as the cyclonic storm Gulab crossed the Bay of Bengal coast off Kalingapatnam on Sunday evening.
Three more fishermen reached the shore safely and called state Fisheries Minister S Appala Raju over phone from Akkupalli village and told him they were safe.
Meanwhile, IMD has informed that the cyclone crossed the coast about 20 km north of Kalingapatnam as a cyclonic storm.
Six fishermen from Palasa, who were returning to their native village by sea in a new boat they purchased in Odisha two days ago, were caught in the storm.
One of the six called his village over phone and informed that their boat lost balance and five of his fellow fishermen were lost in the sea. Subsequently, his mobile phone too went silent, indicating that he too might have gone missing.
However, three of them swam to safety while one perished. Another fisherman, who was assumed dead, however, came alive with his leg cut.
He managed to reach the shore and contact the Fisheries Minister, who arranged an ambulance for the injured to be shifted to the hospital in Palasa, information reaching here said.
The one who made the first phone call still remained untraced and his fellow fishermen fear he might have been trapped in the ill-fated boat.
The Fisheries Minister contacted the Navy authorities to carry out a rescue operation.
The three north coastal districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam had been receiving moderate to heavy rain under the influence of Gulab.
Srikakulam, which has been in the eye of the storm, received incessant downpour with heavy wind.
District Collector L Srikesh Balaji Rao said 61 relief camps have been opened in 13 mandals where close to 1,400 people have been lodged.
Power supply remained cut at many places in Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam districts.
The Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited authorities reviewed the situation and deployed men and material in the affected mandals for emergency repair works.
Deputy Chief Minister (Revenue) Dharmana Krishna Das toured several rain-battered villages to take stock of the situation and supervise relief works.
Vizianagaram district received a heavy rain ranging up to 6 cm under the influence of the cyclone.
AP State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner K Kanna Babu reviewed the situation with the district Collectors and other officials in Visakhapatnam and directed them to be on high alert.
He said NDRF and SDRF teams have been positioned in the three north coastal districts for rescue and relief operations.
Meanwhile, the South Central Railway informed in a release that eight trains on the Vijayawada-Howrah route were diverted via Kharagpur, Jharsuguda, Bilaspur and Balharshah.
Two other trains that were supposed to begin journey on Sunday, have been rescheduled for Monday.