• Monday, Nov 28, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Two dead as Cyclone Gulab makes landfall in eastern India

  • Published at 07:07 am September 26th, 2021
Cyclone Gulab
Fishermen park their boats on the Puri beach as India Meteorological Department has restricted venturing in the sea due to Cyclone Gulab, Sunday Collected

Odisha and Andhra Pradesh officials had ordered tens of thousands of people living along the coast to move to shelters, as hundreds of emergency workers were sent to the region

At least two fishermen from Andhra Pradesh, whose boat lost balance in rough sea, died on Sunday as Cyclone Gulab packing strong winds and rains barrelled into India's east coast in the evening. 

Also, tens of thousands of people in three states including Andhra Pradesh, were evacuated to shelters.

Cyclone Gulab made landfall between the coastal states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh just after 6pm local time, bearing gusts of up to 95 kilometres per hour, the state-run India Meteorological Department said, reports AFP.

The storm system from the Bay of Bengal would bring "strong winds and very heavy (and) extremely heavy rainfall", the weather bureau added in an advisory Sunday.

It added that there was a risk of flash flooding in some areas.

Cyclones are a regular menace in the northern Indian Ocean but many scientists say they are becoming more frequent and severe as climate change warms sea temperatures.

The deceased and four other fishermen from Srikakulam district of the Indian state were in the same boat, from which one fell off and went missing in the sea, according to the PTI. 

However, the rest three from Palasa village swam safely to shore.

Meanwhile, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh officials had ordered tens of thousands of people living along the coast to move to shelters, as hundreds of emergency workers were sent to the region.

There were early reports of trees being uprooted as the cyclone slammed into a coastal district in Andhra Pradesh. Some 85,000 families were expected to be moved from low-lying areas to temporary relief shelters in the state.

Authorities in West Bengal -- to the north of Odisha -- said Sunday that, while Gulab appeared unlikely to hit the state directly, they were still taking precautions.

"We have so far evacuated more than 20,000 people to schools (and) government offices, which have been turned to cyclone shelters," Bankim Hazra, a state minister responsible for the low-lying areas, told AFP.

Odisha Special Relief Commissioner PK Jena said seven districts in the state were on high alert and evacuation efforts were under way.

Ganjam, a coastal district, was expected to be badly hit by the cyclone, Jena added in a statement.

In May, more than a million people were evacuated from their homes along India's east coast before it was battered by Cyclone Yaas, with winds gusting up to 155 kilometres an hour -- equivalent to a category two hurricane.

At least 20 people were killed and tens of thousands were displaced in the storm, which caused widespread damage worth more than $2 billion in Odisha and West Bengal states and in neighbouring Bangladesh.

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