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Cyclonic Storm 'Gulab': The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued alert for north Andhra Pradesh and adjoining south Odisha coasts as the deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into Cyclone 'Gulab'.

The cyclonic storm is likely to move nearly westwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh-south Odisha coasts between Kalingapatnam and Gopalpur around Sunday evening, the Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD said.

"The deep depression over northwest and adjoining westcentral Bay of Bengal moved nearly westwards with a speed of 7 kmph in last six hours, and intensified into Cyclonic Storm ‘Gulab’," the IMD said.

The department has issued a cyclone warning for north Andhra Pradesh and adjoining south Odisha coasts. An 'orange' alert has also been issued for Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts.

The 'orange' alert is a warning of extremely bad weather with the potential of disruption in commute with road and rail closures, and interruption of power supply.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy today held a review meeting on the preparedness in wake of the weather office report on cyclone alert and directed the officials to take all necessary steps, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said. 

The officials informed the chief minister that they have alerted district collectors and suggested to take all necessary steps. They said control rooms were setup village secretariat wise and added that they have readied disaster management staff in Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam districts, according to the CMO. 

The officials said that the district collectors were taking steps to setup relief camps at required locations. The Chief Minister directed the officials to be alert and take necessary steps as there are chances of heavy rains after cyclonic storm crosses the coast. 

"Cyclone Alert for north Andhra Pradesh and adjoining south Odisha coasts: DD is centred near 18.4°N/88.7°E.To cross north Andhra Pradesh - south Odisha coasts b/w Kalingapatnam and Gopalpur by the evening of September 26," the IMD said in a tweet. 

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) under the Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba reviewed the preparedness of central ministries/agencies and state governments to deal with the situation arising out of a Cyclonic storm.

Director General, India Meteorological Department (IMD), briefed the Committee about the current status of the Deep Depression in the Bay of Bengal, which has developed into a cyclonic storm.

It is expected to cross the North Andhra Pradesh and South Odisha coasts by the evening of September 26, with wind speeds ranging from 75-85 kmph, gusting to 95 kmph, accompanied by heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of the states. It is likely to affect the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Ganjam and Gajapati in Odisha.

Chief Secretaries of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh apprised the Committee of the preparatory measures being undertaken to protect the population in the expected path of the cyclonic storm as also measures being taken to ensure that there is minimal damage to infrastructure such as telecom and power and other infrastructure in the aftermath of the cyclonic storm. 

NDRF has deployed 18 teams in these states and additional teams are also kept in readiness. Rescue and relief teams of the Army and Navy along with ships and aircrafts have also been deployed.

(With inputs from agencies)

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