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Cyclone Phethai hits Andhra coast today, heavy rain forecast in Bengal and Odisha

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Cyclone Phethai disrupted trains and flights along the northern Andhra coast as it made landfall. 

Amaravati/Kolkata/Bhubaneswar: Cyclone ‘Phethai’ made landfall in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh Monday afternoon bringing moderate to heavy rains and disrupting normal life remained in the coastal districts of the state.

The Real-Time Governance Centre at the state Secretariat in Amarvati announced that ‘Phethai’ weakened into a cyclone as it made landfall near Katrenikona around 12.25 pm with a wind speed of 80 kmph.

One person was killed in a landslide caused by heavy rains in Vijayawada city but no other casualties have been reported from elsewhere so far, according to sources in the State Disaster Management Authority.

The South Central Railway has cancelled several trains and rescheduled some others because of the cyclone.

Air traffic to the port city of Visakhapatnam has been hampered due to turbulent weather conditions, following which some flights were diverted to Hyderabad.

A holiday has been declared for educational institutions in the coastal districts of the state as a precautionary measure.

Four districts in South Odisha have been experiencing rain since Sunday evening due to the cyclone, while Gangetic West Bengal is likely to experience heavy rain till Tuesday morning, the meteorological (Met) department said.

The system is likely to cause widespread rain in all districts of Gangetic West Bengal, with heavy rain in one or two places till Tuesday morning, the Met department said.

Kolkata, which has had an overcast sky since Sunday with intermittent drizzles, is likely to experience light to moderate rain, it said.

In West Bengal, heavy rain is likely to occur over one or two places in Howrah, East and West Midnapore, Purulia, Bankura, West Burdwan, Jhargram and Hooghly district on Monday.

Strong wind, with speeds reaching 30 to 40 km per hour is likely to blow over northwest Bay of Bengal, the Met said in its forecast.

Many places in Odisha such as Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Nuapada, Baragarh, Balangir, Jharsuguda and Sambalpur districts would experience heavy rainfall on Monday, the department said.

It also forecast light to moderate rainfall and thundershower in many places, mainly south Odisha districts, till December 18.

The Odisha government has already asked district collectors to take steps to protect paddy from the unseasonal rain.

Fishermen were advised not to venture into deep sea areas of west central and adjoining south west Bay of Bengal till Monday, it said. – PTI

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