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Cyclone Helen flattens 170,000 ha of rice crop

The highest rainfall, 19.1 cm, was recorded at Machilipatnam, where the cyclone made landfall

BS Reporter  |  Hyderabad 

Cyclone Helen weakened after making landfall at Machilipatnam on Friday. The depression moved west-southwards and weakened into a low pressure area over coastal Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring areas, according to an India Meteorological Department bulletin.

At least six, including two fishermen, died in separate incidents.

The cyclone also caused severe damage to the rice crop. A total of 168,998 hectares of the crop, 60 per cent of which is in West Godavari district, has been damaged by heavy rains, according to preliminary estimates by the state disaster management wing.

Government authorities said all fishermen stranded at sea on Friday had been rescued. As of Saturday, the authorities had shifted about 21,000 people to safe areas in Krishna, Guntur and East and West Godavari districts.

Electricity supply to 563 villages was affected. In several areas in the coastal Krishna and Godavari districts, trees fell on power lines, hitting supply.

The highest rainfall, 19.1 cm, was recorded at Machilipatnam, where the cyclone made landfall.

Earlier, as a precautionary measure, the state government had evacuated about 28,000 people from low-lying areas, shifting them to 93 relief camps. Ten teams of the Disaster Response Force were pressed into service.

Four helicopters have been kept ready for any emergency.

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First Published: Sat, November 23 2013. 22:30 IST