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Relief for south India as cyclone loses intensity

Relief for south India as cyclone loses intensity

dpa
New Delhi
A cyclonic storm which threatened India’s south-eastern coast has weakened, but authorities remained on alert as it was expected to bring heavy rains in the region. Meteorological officials had earlier warned that Cyclone Jawad, brewing over the Bay of Bengal, would make landfall on Sunday with windspeeds of up to 100 kilometres per hour.
However the cyclone weakened on Saturday as it approached the southern state of Andhra Pradesh before it was to cross the coast of the eastern state of Odisha.
“Jawad is weakening and is likely to cross the temple city of Puri not as a cyclone but a deep depression,” said Sushmita Behera, a senior official of the Odisha disaster management agency, citing reports from the Indian Meteorological Department.
“But we are prepared for heavy rains, we have evacuated 2,000 people and shifted 400 pregnant women in vulnerable areas to hospitals, suspended train services and warned fishermen not to venture into the sea,” she added.
K Kanna Babu, chief of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh’s disaster management authority, said they made arrangements for evacuating 50,000 people, but the need did not arise.
“The situation did not warrant evacuations. It’s been a normal day with a few spells of rain. We will maintain the alert until the end of Saturday,” Babu said. No major damage or loss of life had been reported so far from either state. Cyclones often form over the Bay of Bengal, bringing widespread destruction and flooding in India’s southern and eastern coastal regions.

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