Heavy Rains Batter Andhra Pradesh; Coastal Districts On Alert As Depression In Bay Of Bengal Intensifies
Local fisherman pack a fishing net as the sun sets on Baga beach in Bardez, Goa. (Photograph: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)

Heavy Rains Batter Andhra Pradesh; Coastal Districts On Alert As Depression In Bay Of Bengal Intensifies


Heavy rains battered parts of Andhra Pradesh on Monday under the influence of a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal, and with a forecast of more heavy showers in the state, the disaster management department has put coastal districts on alert.

The India Meteorological Department has also forecasted heavy rainfall in neighbouring Telangana on Tuesday due to the depression.

The depression over the Bay of Bengal has intensified into a deep depression and it is likely to cross the north Andhra Pradesh coast between Narsapur and Vishakhapatnam early Tuesday, the IMD said.

Under its influence, very heavy rainfall is expected over Telangana, heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places are likely over Karnataka, Rayalaseema, south Konkan and Goa, central Maharashtra and Marathawada on Tuesday, the Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD said.

Also read: India Received ‘Above Normal’ Rainfall During 4-Month Monsoon, Says Met Department

The Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Commissioner K Kanna Babu issued a warning, asking people, particularly those residing in low-lying areas, to be alert and take necessary precautions in view of the situation.

Kanna Babu said coastal districts have been put on high alert.

The Meteorological Centre at Amaravati said the deep depression was moving at a speed of over six kilometres per hour and was very likely to move west-northwestwards and cross the coast close to Kakinada, the headquarters of East Godavari district.

Wind speed could range from 55 to 65 kmph, gusting up to 75 kmph, it said.

The deep depression caused heavy to very heavy rains in East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts in particular on Monday and threw normal life out of gear.

Parawada near Visakhapatnam received the highest 18.1 cm of rain and industrial town Gajuwaka 17.1 cm. The ancient coastal town of Bhimili recorded 16 cm, Visakhapatnam city 15.9 cm, Kapuluppada 14.6 cm and Anandapuram 12 cm.

Ramachandrapuram in East Godavari recorded 17.8 cm, Pithapuram 16.1 cm, Kakinada 15.5 cm, Karapa 11.7 cm and Samarlakota 10 cm.

According to the Met forecast, heavy to very heavy rainfall with isolated extremely heavy rain was likely over the districts of Srikakulam,Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam in north coastal Andhra, besides East Godavari, Yanam (Puducherry) and West Godavari.

Also read: Monsoon Retreat Begins From Parts Of North India: Met Department

Heavy to very heavy rainfall was also very likely at isolated places in Krishna and Kurnool districts, while heavy rainfall was likely at isolated places in Guntur and Prakasam districts, it said.

A report from Mangaluru said the coastal region of Karnataka was likely to experience heavy rainfall in the next three days due to a fall in atmospheric pressure over the Bay of Bengal.

The Met Department said a red alert has been issued for the region during the period.

As the deep depression has been very strong near the Andaman Islands, it may build into a cyclone and most parts of the state would get heavy rainfall from Monday till Oct.16.

Meanwhile, Delhi recorded its worst air quality since February on Monday as the concentration of fine particulate matters PM2.5 and PM10 increased to their highest recorded levels this season. However, the Ministry of Earth Sciences' air quality monitor, SAFAR, said the air quality index was likely to improve slightly in the coming days due to a change in the wind direction.

The city recorded a 24-hour average AQI of 261. It was 216 on Sunday and 221 on Saturday.

The AQI hit the very poor levels at Delhi Technological University (307), ITO (315), Patparganj (307), Ashok Vihar (302), Jahangirpuri (320), Vivek Vihar (351), Wazirpur (306), Bawana (310) and Anand Vihar (312).

The last time Delhi's air quality hit such poor levels was on Feb. 26 (AQI 274).

An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.

A senior scientist at the Delhi Pollution Control Committee said the dip in the air quality can be attributed to low wind speed which allowed accumulation of pollutants.

Stubble burning has also increased in neighbouring states. A change in wind direction is likely to improve AQI slightly on Tuesday, he said.

PM10 levels in Delhi-NCR stood at 258 microgram per cubic metre (g/m3) at 7 pm -- the highest this season so far, according to CPCB data. PM10 levels below 100 g/m3 are considered safe in India.

Delhi's air quality had turned poor on Wednesday, the first time in since June 29, with the Central Pollution Control Board recording a 24-hour average AQI of 215.

SAFAR said the AQI is predicted to improve slightly to the moderate category -- by Wednesday.

As many as 614 farm fires were observed in Punjab, Haryana and neighbouring border regions on Sunday but the count is nearly one eight the peak values recorded in the last two years, it said.

Farm fires contributed 3% particulate matter to Delhi's PM2.5 concentration on Monday. It is likely to be negligible for the next two days due to a change in the wind direction from northwesterly to southeasterly, the government agency said.

On Monday, Delhi's minimum temperature settled at 19.4 degrees Celsius. The maximum wind speed was 4 kilometers per hour.

Low temperatures and stagnant winds help in accumulation of pollutants near the ground, affecting air quality.

With Delhi-NCR bracing for months of poor air quality, experts have warned that high levels of air pollution can aggravate the Covid-19 pandemic.

High levels of air pollution in Delhi is a year-round problem, which can be attributed to unfavourable meteorological conditions, farm fires in neighbouring regions and local sources of pollution.

Starting Oct.15, stricter measures to fight air pollution will also come into force in Delhi and its neighbourhood as part of the Graded Response Action Plan, which was first implemented in Delhi-NCR in 2017.

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