Cyclonic Storm ‘Phethai’: How to prepare and stay safe

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Bhubaneswar: The Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Phethai’ over westcentral Bay of Bengal moved further northwards with a speed of 24 kmph during past 06 hours, weakened into a cyclonic storm and lay centred at 0830 hrs IST of 17th December, 2018 over westcentral Bay of Bengal near latitude 15.8°N and longitude 82.2°E, 370 km north-northeast of Chennai (Tamil Nadu), 120 km east-southeast of Machilipatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and 130 km south of Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh).

It is very likely to move nearly northwards and cross Andhra Pradesh coast around Kakinada during 17th December afternoon. However, due to unfavourable environmental conditions, it is likely to slightly weaken further before landfall and cross the coast as a cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 70-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph.

Cyclone ‘PHETHAI’ is also being tracked by DWR Chennai, Machilipatnam and Vishakhapatnam apart from Satellite and other observations.

Warnings:

Heavy rainfall and wind warning for Andhra Pradesh, north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, and south Odisha coasts:

Squally wind speed reaching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph prevails along & off Andhra Pradesh. It is very likely to increase gradually becoming gale wind speed of 70-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph along & off central Andhra Pradesh coast (East & west Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, Krishna, Guntur, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam Districts and Yanam district of Puducherry) during next 12 hours. Gale wind speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph is likely to prevail along & off remaining parts of Andhra Pradesh coast.

Strong wind speed reaching 30-40 kmph gusting to 50 kmph likely along & off South Odisha coast on 17th.

Wind warning for Sea areas

Gale wind speed reaching 80-90 gusting to 100 prevails over westcentral Bay of Bengal around the system centre and is very likely to become 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph during next 12 hours.

Strong wind speed reaching 30-40 kmph gusting to 50 kmph likely over northwest Bay of Bengal on 17th December.

Sea condition

The sea condition is very high to high over westcentral Bay of Bengal around system centre. The sea condition is very likely to be high over westcentral Bay of Bengal and along & off central Andhra Pradesh coast and Yanam district of Puducherry during next 12 hours. It will be very rough along & off remaining parts of Andhra Pradesh coast and rough to very rough along & off north Tamilnadu and Puducherry coasts during same period.

Storm Surge Warning

Storm surge of height of about 0.5 m to 1.0 m above the astronomical tides likely to inundate the low lying areas of Coastal Andhra Pradesh (East & West Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, and Krishna Districts) and Yanam district of Puducherry at the time of landfall.

Damage Expected over Coastal Andhra Pradesh (East & West Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, Krishna and Guntur Districts) and Yanam district of Puducherry:

Damage to thatched huts, minor damage to power and communication lines due to the breaking of branches. Major damage to Kutcha and damage to Pucca roads. The uprooting of small trees and some damage to paddy crops, banana, papaya trees, and orchards. Seawater inundation in low lying areas after erosion of Kutcha embankments.

Action suggested by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA):

  • Total suspension of fishing operations along & off Andhra Pradesh coast on 17th December.
  • The fishermen are advised not to venture into southwest & westcentral Bay of Bengal and along & off Andhra Pradesh, north Tamilnadu & Puducherry coasts till 17th December.
  • The fishermen are advised not to venture along & off south Odisha coast on 17th December.
  • Those, who are out in deep sea areas are advised to return to the coasts.
  • How to prepare and stay safe
  • Turn on your TV/radio.
  • You’ll get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions from All India Radio (AIR) and other local sources.
  • If it’s safe, secure the outside of your home and any items that could blow away.
  • They may become a safety hazard.
  • Know where to find higher ground on foot within 15 minutes.
  • You may need to leave quickly to escape rising waters.
  • Prepare or restock your emergency supply kit.
  • Include a charged cell phone, torch, radio, batteries, matches, candles, food, water, can opener, knife, and first aid supplies.
  • Walk only where floodwaters aren’t moving.
  • Use a stick to check the depth of the water and firmness of the ground in front of you.
  • If there’s a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.
  • Flash floods are a leading cause of weather-related deaths.

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