New Delhi, Nov 6 (IANS) As cyclone 'Jal' neared Andhra Pradesh's coastline, five evacuation teams were deployed in the state as a safety measure, a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) official said Saturday.
'Five teams of 45-50 rescue operators each reached the low-lying districts of Andhra Pradesh Saturday morning. They have started the evacuation process there,' an NDMA official told IANS.
According to the official, cyclone 'Jal' is expected to hit southeast Chennai and Nellore, Thiruvallur, Puducherry and Kancheepuram.
'The local authorities have been evacuating people from the low-lying villages of these south coastal districts,' the official added.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) Saturday issued cyclone warning in north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh. 'Jal' lay centred over southwest Bay of Bengal, some 650 km from Chennai and 750 km southeast of Nellore, Saturday evening.
'Gale winds of 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph would prevail along and off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coast from Saturday evening. It may increase up to 120-130 kmph, gusting to 140 kmph at the time of landfall,' the IMD forecast said.
Fishermen were also advised not to venture into the sea.
Heavy rains over the last one week under the impact of low pressure and vigorous northeast monsoon in the state have claimed 37 lives in coastal Andhra Pradesh and damaged crops in nearly 300,000 hectares of land, according to officials.