INDIA. Mumbai: Cyclone ‘Gulab’ formed in the Bay of Bengal made landfall in coastal regions of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on Sunday night, triggering heavy rains along with strong winds over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and adjoining south coastal Odisha.
The landfall process commenced in the evening between Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Gopalpur in Odisha as the cloud bands entered the coastal region. The process will continue for the next two to three hours and heavy rains were anticipated, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
One person was reportedly swept away in Odisha’s Ganjam district and two fishermen from Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh lost their lives, while one another went missing as the cyclonic storm “Gulab” made landfall.
The three north coastal districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, and Srikakulam had been receiving moderate to heavy rain under the influence of Gulab. Since the cyclone was moving towards Koraput and Malkangiri districts in Odisha, it was expected to cause potential damage due to wind and rains till Monday afternoon.
In Odisha, around 39,000 people were evacuated as a precautionary measure. The NDRF and SDRF teams have already been positioned in the north coastal districts for rescue and relief operations.
The East Coast Railway (ECoR) cancelled 34 pairs of trains due to the cyclone. The ECoR also rescheduled 13 trains and diverted at least 17 trains, according to its bulletins. The South Central Railway stated in a release that eight trains on the Vijayawada-Howrah route have been diverted via Kharagpur, Jharsuguda, Bilaspur, and Balharshah. Two other trains that were supposed to begin the journey on Sunday, were rescheduled for Monday.
The Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command, and Naval Officers-in-Charge Odisha area carried out preparatory activities to combat the effects of Cyclone. As part of the preparedness, Flood Relief Teams and Diving Teams are prepositioned at Odisha and are ready at Visakhapatnam to render immediate assistance.
Two Naval ships are at sea with Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) material and medical teams to render assistance in the most affected areas. Naval aircraft are kept ready at Naval Air Stations, INS Dega at Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), and INS Rajali near Chennai (Tamil Nadu) to undertake an aerial survey of the most affected areas, casualty evacuation, and airdrop of relief material as required, an Indian Navy spokesman said. This is the third cyclone of 2021 after Tauktae and Yaas that had formed in May this year.