Cyclone Laila Weakens, but Still Leaves Behind Death and Destruction

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Media Reports
Bellevision Media Network


Hyderabad, 21 May 2010: It seems that worst is over as the dreaded Cyclone Laila  weakened ahead of landfall about 30 km from Bapatla in Guntur district on Thursday, 20 May 2010 afternoon. In spite of this the cyclone left 16 people dead, flooded thousands of homes, snapped power supply in many areas and threw rail and road traffic out of gear in the coastal region of  Andhra Pradesh. 

The cyclone hit the coast near Bapatla around 1.40 pm on Thursday, 20 April 2010 and moved on northwards by 5.30 pm.  According to the officials of the Meteorological Department said, "The system is likely to weaken gradually and move initially in a northerly direction and then recurve in north-easterly direction towards south Orissa. There is a possibility of the cyclonic system emerging in the north Bay of Bengal and intensifying again over sea." Further they cautioned that vigil should be kept for at least another 24 hours. Despite the cyclonic system moving away, the coastal region of AP is expected to receive heavy to very heavy rains on Friday as well. 

Heavy rainfall has been recorded in different districts of AP. Around 50,000  people have been  evacuated to relief camps, and 11 towns and 1492 villages affected by the cyclone in the form of snapping of electricity and flooding. Though Laila’s intensity reduced considerably, the winds blowing at a speed of 90-95 kmph continue to leave behind a trail of destruction, though not of the level that was feared before it made the landfall. 

Cyclone Laila ha s caused npt pnly considerable damage to life and property, services by rail and  road have been  completely collapsed.  South Central Railway and Southern Railway were forced to cancel several trains, curtail some and divert others while the few that did manage to stay on the tracks were running behind schedule due to slow movement. Among the services cancelled were several long-distance trains passing through the sector like the Chennai-Howrah Coramandel Express. 

There was complete disruption of  road services as many stretches of the national and state highways were in four to five feet of flood water. Both rail and road services are likely to remain disrupted for a few more days as several damaged links have to be repaired. It will take weeks to restore several small bridges and tanks that were washed away by Laila, an official said. 

According to a report there have been so far  16 human casualties  caused by being washed away in the torrential waters, electrocution and wall collapse. Among these, four were from East Godavari, three from Nellore, two each from Guntur, Krishna, Prakasam and Visakhapatnam and one from West Godavari. Many others were reported missing in various coastal districts and as many as 280 fishermen are still reported to have been missing. 





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