Cyclone Nilam: Death toll rises to 28 in Andhra Pradesh, expected to rise
Andhra Pradesh continues to reel from the after effects of Cyclone Nilam. Heavy rains have been reported from the state's coastal areas in the last 24 hours, and as per latest information, the death toll has risen to 28 with the electrocution of four children in West Godavari District.
The Met department has predicted more rainfall over the next 24 hours, and the threat of floods seems to be a major worry.
Estimates reveal that about 68,000 people have been evacuated from the low lying areas to relief camps and about five lakh hectares of crop have been destroyed in the state.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi spoke with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on the phone and enquired about the situation arising out of the heavy rains in Andhra Pradesh
Official sources said that both extended their sympathies to the victims and their families, and assured the state government of providing adequate support to deal with the calamity and its fallout.
Chief Minister Reddy is expected to undertake an aerial survey of the affected areas today to assess the damage caused by Cyclone Nilam, and to determine the steps that need to be taken to restore normalcy and calm. Reddy had earlier chaired a high-level review meeting of ministers and senior officials in Hyderabad.
Due to water flowing above danger mark between Tuni and Gullipadu stations in Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam section under Vijaywada Division of South Central Railway, several trains have been rescheduled and cancelled, the East Coast Railway has said.
Meanwhile, Civil Supplies Minister D Sridhar Babu said an assistance of Rs 1.50 lakh would be given to the families of the deceased. The Chief Minister would also request the Centre to relax the norms for purchase of cotton affected by rains, he said.
The powerful winds and rains washed away railway tracks in Boddavara near Visakhapatnam city.
The coast guards had found three of the five bodies of sailors, who went missing from an oil tanker which ran aground after Cyclone Nilam hit Tamil Nadu state.
On October 30, Chennai Port stopped cargo operations after it received a cyclone warning. A port official later confirmed the port resumed cargo operations after a cyclone in the area eased in severity.
The Indian Ocean usually sees about five cyclones a year, with the months of May to JUne and October to November experiencing the most severe ones.