280 fishermen missing as Laila batters Tamil Nadu coast
Rameswaram (TN), May 19
According to fisheries department officials, 40 country boats anchored along Mandapam coast and 100 boats in Mandapam, including an Indian Coast Guard Vessel and two boats of coastal security groups were damaged.
Twenty of the 300 fishermen, who were traced to Katchathivu (an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India), have returned to Mandapam, they said.
The fishermen had put out to sea in 100 country boats, fitted with outboard motors, on May 17 night.
Various coastal areas of Tamil Nadu have been experiencing rains and gutsy winds as the cyclone, “Laila”, lay centred in the Bay of Bengal, 190 km east-northeast of Chennai, and is likely to cross Andhra Pradesh coast tomorrow.
A 52-year-old fisherman drowned in sea current at Tirupalakudi village near here while trying to retrieve his boat, which got snapped from its mooring following heavy wind. — PTI
Hyderabad, May 19
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah tonight spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on phone and requisitioned the armed forces to help the civil administration in rescue efforts as the Met department warned of six-foot high tidal waves and disruption of communication and power supplies.
Three persons were killed when a shed collapsed in a village in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh while a fisherman drowned in rough sea in Tamil Nadu as the two states were lashed by heavy rains under the influence of Laila which lay centred 200-km from Machhlipatnam expected to be the landfall point of the cyclone.
Authorities moved hundreds of residents of 777 villages in four coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh to schools and government buildings for temporary shelter and alerted the emergency teams.
The coastal regions of Andhra, including Guntur, Nellore, Prakasam, East and West Godavari districts experienced heavy rains throughout the day under the influence of the storm.
Warning number 10 (high state of alert) has been issued to all major ports in Andhra Pradesh and Reliance Industries supended crude oil and gas production from its Krishna Godavari basin MA fields in the Bay of Bengal as a precautionary measure.
The cyclonic storm is likely to trigger heavy rains at some places in south and north Orissa tomorrow.
Weathermen also predicted heavy rains in Gangetic West Bengal from tomorrow evening.
Rosaiah apprised the Prime Minister of the steps taken by the state government to prevent loss of lives and property. — PTI