Tuesday , March 19 2019

Vizag: Cyclone Kyant Weakens, Storm on in Social Media

IMD predicts that the cyclone Kyant turned into deep depression &  is most likely to weaken further into a depression on Thursday morning.

The rain and wind that lashed in the evening brought back memories of Hudhud.

Visakhapatnam: Social media was abuzz with rumours that Cyclone Kyant would be bigger and could be more violent than Hudhud. The messages were accompanied by advice to keep emergency supplies ready. The reality, according to weather bureau report, is that it is weakening in the Bay of Bengal.

WhatsApp & Facebook messages read, “Cyclone Kyant bigger than Hudhud has spared Odisha & would strike Vizag on Oct. 30. Very heavy to heavy rain with a strong wind could lash the city. Please conserve water and the essential food items. Doors & windows have to be closed properly. Keep candles and the emergency torches. Take care of vehicles parked outside.”

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Some people, on Thursday, made a panic purchases to ensure a stock of essentials. As a result, many shops reportedly ran out of milk and for other commodities. Some shopkeepers also reportedly hoarded items.

“IMD predicts that the cyclone Kyant turned into deep depression and it is most likely to weaken further into a depression on Thursday morning. Instead of going by nodal agency announcement, many people are still following messages circulated on social media,” said social activist G. Srinivas.

The rain & wind that lashed in the evening brought back the memories of Hudhud. At some residential schools, students were called back home by the parents.

“My mother continuously calling me since morning asking about the situation here. Though I told her about IMD’s report, she kept suggesting her that I come back home. The social media rumors are making people worried,” said Chinmaya Rath of Odisha, working here.

Coastal green belt projects face hiccups

Two years after the cyclone Hudhud hit the Andhra coast, Now as fear of another cyclone, Kyant, looms large, the plantation of casuarinas, palmyrah & mangroves, to create a protective green belt on north Andhra Pradesh coast, has not been taken up as planned.  Such plantations act as the barrier, slowing down wind velocity & reducing damage to the coastal areas during storms, cyclones, and tsunamis.

About US$12 million – the major chunk of the World Bank funding of US$20 million allotted to forest department under the Andhra Pradesh Disaster Recovery Project – is to be spent on plantations & hi-tech nurseries. Officers of the Forest Department claim that delay in the release of funds has delayed the plantation project.

Principal Chief conservator of forests (Admin) R.G. Kalaghatgi said funds were released only a few months back. “It got delayed as various norms & procedures had to be followed. However, things will move on now,” he said.

Palmyrah and casuarina plantations were to come up in Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts. Seven nurseries were to be set up in the four coastal districts.

Additional principal chief conservator of forests (Visakhapatnam circle) Pradeep Kumar, said about 330 hectares have been identified in East Godavari district for mangrove plantation.

“Mangrove plantation is very important. One hundred mangrove plantations of 200 trees each are good enough. It is very crucial for states like Andhra Pradesh, which has a long coastline,” he said.

He said workshops have been held with coastal communities to emphasize the need for the creation of a coastal green belt. “With the funds in hand, we will swiftly execute the projects,” he promised.

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