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Fishing boats lay anchored at Nizamapatnam port as cyclonic storm lashed Guntur district on Wednesday
NIZAMPATNAM (GUNTUR DT): The sea level continued to rise alarmingly at the Nizampatnam port and Suryalanka beach as a steady downpour accompanied by moderate gales measuring up to 45-60 kmph kept the District Administration on its toes.
The cyclonic storm ‘Laila' lay centred in between Machilipatnam and Kakinada coasts and was expected to cross the coast on Thursday morning.
The State Government sent Hiralal Samaria as cyclone special officer to the district to coordinate relief works in case cyclone strikes.
However, the day passed off without any damages as the wind speed was normal. There were no incidents of trees getting uprooted and power supply remained steady. Five fishermen belonging to Nizampatnam, who went missing since Monday, were traced to Prakasam district.
The officials were keeping their fingers crossed as heavy rain was expected in Repalle, Nizampatnam, Bapatla and Karlapalem coastal mandals of the district.
The authorities had issued level 10 cyclone warning in Nizampatnam, where the sea level was rising menacingly and pushing into the creeks and back waters.
District Collector B. Ramanjaneyulu, who along with Superintendent of Police D.S. Chauhan, made a whirlwind visit of the cyclone-prone mandals, said 64 villages were affected, out of which the situation was grim in 18 villages. They reviewed the situation with the special officers.
The authorities were making plans to evacuate 40,000 people by Wednesday night and put them in cyclone shelters or in school buildings. The Tehsildars were instructed to provide food for the evacuees.
In Bapatla, high tides measuring up to 2 metres were seen at Suryalanka beach and the water front advanced up by about 4 metres.
Tourists at the Haritha Beach Resorts run by the APTDC were asked to leave on Tuesday itself in view of the cyclonic storm.
But local fishermen seemed reluctant to leave their habitations. The Collector, who interacted with them, asked the officials to shift them by force by Wednesday evening. At Dindi village in Nizamapatnam mandal, about 200 families were likely to be evacuated by night.
Joint Collector A. Sarath convened a meeting with the local residents at Repalle and urged them to move to safer places.
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