Cyclone 'Phethai' made landfall in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh Monday afternoon bringing moderate to heavy rains even as normal life remained hit in the coastal districts of the state.
The Real-Time Governance Centre at the state Secretariat here 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.
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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.
According to Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre, 'Phethai' will intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm over the next few hours and weaken slightly before making a landfall on Monday afternoon.
The MeT department has predicted rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places over coastal Andhra Pradesh. Squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph is likely along and off Andhra Pradesh. The gale speed may reach 100 kmph on Monday.
The Cyclone Warning Centre has warned storm surge of up to one metre could inundate the low lying areas of Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur districts of coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Puducherry at the time of landfall.
Fishermen has been advised not to venture into sea.
Meanwhile, the MeT department also warned that cyclone Phethai is likely to trigger heavy rainfall in several parts of Odisha by Monday. Many areas including Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada, and Kalahanda are expected to be lashed by heavy downpour. The MeT department added that many places in the state including Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Nuapada, Baragarh, Balangir, Jharsuguda and Sambalpur districts would experience heavy downpour.
The Odisha government has asked the district collectors to take steps to protect paddy from the unreasonable rain. Farmers have been advised to reap the paddy in their field and bring it to a safe place. They have also been asked to collect the paddy stacks kept in the field for drying to a safe place and cover the paddy stacks.
Cyclone Phethai is the third cyclone in the northeast monsoon season after cyclones Gaja and Titli. In November, Cyclone Gaja claimed 45 lives and damaged over 1.17 lakh houses. At least 57 people died in Cyclone Titli in Odisha in October.