As part of the preparedness, flood relief teams and diving teams are prepositioned in Odisha and ready at Visakhapatnam to render immediate assistance, said the Indian Navy.

Commuters walk on the street amid rain in Ranchi, Sunday, September 26, 2021. PTI
news Cyclone Gulab Sunday, September 26, 2021 - 21:17
Written by  PTI

The landfall process of cyclone Gulab, which started on Sunday evening around 6 pm, may continue for about three hours, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD). The system hit the landmass between Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh and Gopalpur in Odisha.

As per the latest meteorological observations, the cloud bands have touched the coastal regions and thus the landfall process has commenced over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and adjoining south coastal Odisha, the IMD said in a statement. During the landfall, the wind speed of the cyclone is about 90 kmph, an official said.

In a 9 pm update, IMD said, "The Cyclonic Storm Gulab crossed north Andhra Pradesh  and south Odisha coasts, about 20 km north of Kalingapatnam and lay centred at 20:30 hrs IST of 26 September 2021 over north Andhra Pradesh."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday, spoke with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and assured them of support from the Union government in facing the situation arising in the wake of cyclone Gulab.

"Discussed the cyclone situation in parts of Odisha with CM @Naveen_Odisha Ji. The Centre assures all possible support in overcoming this adversity," PM Modi said in a tweet. Praying for the safety and well-being of everybody, he said.

In another tweet, PM Modi said, "Spoke to Andhra Pradesh CM Shri @ysjagan and took stock of the situation arising in the wake of Cyclone Gulab. Assured all possible support from the Centre. I pray for everyone's safety and well-being."

Naval ships, aircraft on standby

The Indian Navy said that it was closely monitoring the movement of Cyclone Gulab and kept naval ships and aircraft on standby for rescue and relief operations. The Eastern Naval Command in Visakhapatnam and naval officers in charge of Odisha have carried out preparatory activities to combat the effects of the cyclone, according to an official statement.

The Navy is in constant liaison with the state administrations for rendering assistance as required and closely monitoring the movement of the cyclonic storm, it said.

As part of the preparedness, flood relief teams and diving teams are prepositioned in Odisha and ready at Visakhapatnam to render immediate assistance, it added. Two naval ships are at sea with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief material, and medical teams will render assistance in the most-affected areas.

Aircraft are kept ready at naval air stations INS Dega in Visakhapatnam and INS Rajali near Chennai to undertake an aerial survey of the most-affected areas, casualty evacuation and airdrop of relief material, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the East Coast Railway has cancelled 34 pairs of trains due to Cyclone Gulab. The ECoR has also rescheduled 13 trains and diverted at least 17 trains so far, according to its bulletins. "In view of the forecast of heavy rain with cyclonic wind, all necessary precautions have been taken by ECoR," it said.

The railways is conducting extensive patrolling in areas that are likely to be affected. Bridges are kept under watch, and appropriate steps have been taken for electrical and signaling operations.

IMD forecasts heavy rain in south Bengal

Heavy rain is likely to pound most of the districts in southern West Bengal on Tuesday owing to a low-pressure area that is developing in the Bay of Bengal, the India Meteorological Department said on Sunday.

Some of the districts in the region will also receive heavy rain on Wednesday, September 29, it said.

A cyclonic circulation is likely to emerge near the Myanmar coast on Monday, September 27, and under its influence, a low-pressure area will be developed in the subsequent 24 hours, the weatherman said.

Heavy rain is likely in one or two places in Kolkata, Purba and Paschim Medinipur, North and South 24 Parganas, Purba and Paschim Bardhaman, Howrah, Jhargram, Bankura and Purulia districts on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, heavy rain is likely in one or two places in Paschim Bardhaman, Jhargram, Bankura and Purulia districts, it said.

Owing to cyclone Gulab, which will cross the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coasts, heavy rain will occur in South 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur districts till Tuesday morning, the MeT department said.

It said that sea conditions will be very rough due to the two weather systems and warned fishermen not to venture into the deep sea till further notice.