Rains accompanied by gusty winds started lashing many parts of the coastal Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday as the severe cyclonic storm 'Asani' in Bay of Bengal moved closer to the coast.
Several areas in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, Anakapalli, Kakinada, Konaseema, West Godavari, Krishna, Bapatla, Guntur, Nellore and Tirupati districts were experiencing light to moderate rains under the impact of severe cyclonic storm.
Coastal city of Visakhapatnam was receiving heavy spells of rain with gusty winds, throwing the normal life out of gear and disrupting vehicular traffic.
Authorities have suspended all flight operations at Visakhapatnam Airport as a precautionary measure.
Temple town of Tirupati also received heavy rains under the impact of the cyclone, providing relief to people from intense heat wave conditions.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), 'Asani' lay centered over west central Bay of Bengal, about 260 km southeast of Kakinada and 300 km south of Visakhapatnam.
It is very likely to recurve north-north eastwards and move towards Northwest Bay of Bengal off North Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts. It is likely to weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours, the IMD said.
Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) were put on standby for rescue and relief operations in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority has asked people to remain alert in view of the forecast of heavy rains in coastal Andhra from Tuesday evening. Gusty winds with speed of 40-60 kmph are likely along the coast.
State Disaster Management Authority has advised people of north coastal Andhra to be on high alert. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea till Thursday.
The IMD has forecast light to moderate rainfall at a few places, heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places likely over coastal Andhra Pradesh and heavy rainfall at isolated places likely over coastal Odisha from Tuesday evening.
Light to moderate rainfall at a few places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places is likely over coastal areas of north Andhra Pradesh and heavy rainfall at isolated places is likely over coastal Odisha and adjoining coastal West Bengal on Wednesday.
Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is likely along and off north Andhra Pradesh coast on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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