A cyclone that gathered strength on Wednesday uprooting trees, triggering landslides and snapping power and phone links as it crossed the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is heading towards the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, government officials said.
Cyclone `Hudhud' is moving in from the Bay of Bengal and is forecast to bring gales of up to 140 km per hour, heavy rains and storm surges when it hits the coast on Sunday afternoon, official sources said.
''A low pressure area that lay over north Andaman Sea on 6 October, concentrated into a depression in the morning of 7 October and intensified into a deep depression in the evening over the same region. It moved west northwestwards, intensified into the cyclonic storm 'Hudhud' in the morning of 8 October over north Andaman Sea and crossed Andaman and Nicobar Islands close to Long Island between 0830 and 0930 hrs IST today'' an official release said.
''Moving northwestwards, it lay centered at 1130 hrs (IST) of 8 October 2014 near latitude 12.5šN and longitude 92.5šE about 1,100 km southeast of Gopalpur and 1,150 km east-southeast of Visakhapatnam. The system would continue to move west-northwestwards, intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours and into a very severe cyclonic storm during subsequent 36 hours. The system would cross north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts between Visakhapatnam and Gopalpur around noon of 12 October (Sunday),'' it added.
In wake of the cyclonic storm ''Hudhud'' , National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has placed its 05 Battalions situated at Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Bihar on high alert. These NDRF battalions comprise 51 teams.
In AP, 6 rescue and relief teams have already been deployed, including two at Srikakulam, one at Vijay Nagaram, two at Visakhapattam and one at East Godavari.
In Odisha, 9 NDRF teams are being considered for deployment in the districts of Gajpatti (1), Ganjam (3), Khurda (2), Cuttak (1), Puri (1) and Balasore (1).
Four NDRF teams from Patna, Kolkota and Chennai battalions are moving towards Odisha and AP.
A total of 27 teams are being deployed in vulnerable areas as a proactive measure to mitigate the situation during cyclonic storm, an official release said.
One DIG each has been stationed at Visakhapattam and Bhubaneswar to supervise the NDRF operations.
A total of 162 boats and 54 deep diving sets with other flood rescue equipments are being sent to meet any challenges which may arise due to cyclonic storm 'Hudhud', the release said.