17 die in Andhra as cyclone Laila leaves a trail of devastation

17 die in Andhra as cyclone Laila leaves a trail of devastation

Hyderabad: At least 17 people were killed and three others were reported to be missing as cyclone Laila left a trail of devastation in coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh damaging road networks and destroying crops.

State disaster management commissioner T Radha told PTI that seven people were killed in Krishna district, including five in a wall collapse in Vijayawada city, while four persons lost their lives in Nellore, three in Guntur, two in East Godavari and one in Prakasam district.

Two persons were missing in Krishna district and one in east Godavari since Thursday when the cyclone made the landfall in Macchalipatnam area, he said.

Giving details, he said five members of a family were buried alive under a wall that collapsed on their hut at Chittinagar in Vijayawada on Friday morning. There was also a landslip in the area but no one was killed.

Official sources here said crops suffered extensive damage while road network remained badly battered due to heavy rains caused by the cyclonic storm.

The storm was heading towards Orissa on Friday morning from Vizianagaram in north coastal Andhra.

Many colonies in Ongole town in Prakasam district -- which bore the brunt of Laila -- remained marooned due to a constant downpour in the last two days.

Over 300 Army personnel, besides teams of National Disaster Response Force, have been rushed to Ongole for rescue and relief operations.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister K Rosaiah, who planned to undertake an aerial survey in Prakasam district, put off his journey due to bad weather, the sources said.

Rosaiah is now reviewing the situation with his Cabinet colleagues and top officials in the state secretariat, they said.