Gulab impact: Heavy crop damages reported in Andhra Pradesh

: Cyclone ‘Gulab’, which crossed the Bay of Bengal coast near Kalingapatnam on Sunday night, weakened into a depression and caused widespread rains in several districts of Andhra Pradesh on Monday and also left a trail of destruction.

Port city Visakhapatnam received a 30-year high rainfall of over 33.3 cm in 24 hours under the cyclone’s impact and left a woman dead today, taking the overall toll to two since Sunday.

On Sunday, a fisherman was killed in the cyclonic storm in Bay of Bengal in Srikakulam district.

Agricultural and horticultural crops in over 1.63 lakh acres suffered damaged due to the heavy downpour in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari and Krishna districts, Agriculture Minister K Kanna Babu said while citing preliminary estimates.

The Minister spoke to Joint Collectors of the districts and agriculture department officials through a teleconference and asked them to conduct a detailed enumeration of the crop damages once the floodwater receded.

Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy reviewed the situation with Collectors of the rain-affected districts and directed them to step up relief works.

The Chief Minister announced an ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh each to the kin of those killed in Gulab.

In Vizianagaram district alone, agricultural crops in 13,122 hectares and horticultural crops in 291 hectares were damaged, according to the Collector A Surya Kumari.

Nine head of cattle also died in the cyclone.

In Visakhapatnam, boulders fell on a house, causing its collapse and killing a woman, district Collector A Mallikarjuna said.

The Collector, along with Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation Commissioner G Srujana, inspected the rain-affected areas in the city and supervised the relief operations.

Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das visited Srikakulam, the district worst affected by Gulab, and reviewed the rescue and relief operations.

The district administration sheltered over 1,500 people in 38 relief camps and provided food.

Tens of houses were damaged in the heavy rain and 15 head of cattle died in the district.

Trees that were uprooted by the cyclone were cleared from the roads on a war-footing while the Eastern Power Distribution Company personnel carried out repair of the damaged power lines.

According to IMD data, rainfall ranging from 60.3 mm to 333 mm was recorded in over 450 places spread over Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari and Krishna districts in 24 hours.

Guntur and Prakasam districts received up to 7.5 mm rainfall while SPS Nellore and the four Rayalaseema districts received up to 2.4 mm of rain, according to the State Disaster Management Authority.

The sea still remained rough in north coastal Andhra, which could cause moderate to heavy rainfall.