By Shuriah Niazi
NEW DELHI (AA) – Almost 55,000 people have been evacuated as a tropical storm lashed parts of southern India with heavy rains, authorities said on Saturday.
People in vulnerable areas in three districts of the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh were moved to some 200 state-run camps, according to a government statement.
No loss of life or major property damage has been reported so far.
Schools in areas assessed to be at risk have been closed and at least 75 scheduled trains have been cancelled.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the storm – dubbed Cyclone Jawad – in the Bay of Bengal is likely to weaken gradually during next 12 hours and expected to make landfall near Puri in the eastern state of Odisha on Sunday.
It said heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely in coastal and interior areas of Odisha, northern parts of Andhra Pradesh, and coastal districts of West Bengal.
“Our response forces are deployed in the field and evacuations are being conducted. We expect large-scale damage to paddy crops and assessments are being done,” said Pradeep Kumar Jena, the relief commissioner for Odisha.
“The cyclone is showing signs of weakening, and will move away from Odisha by tomorrow evening,” he added.
Another storm – Cyclone Tauktae – battered parts of western India this May, claiming at least 140 lives, including almost 70 people who were on a barge that sank off the coast of commercial hub Mumbai.
In May 2020, nearly 100 people were killed by another storm – Cyclone Amphan – that damaged thousands of houses and swaths of farmland in India and Bangladesh.