Cyclone Fani effect: Heat wave sears AP, Telangana

Cyclone Fani that battered Odisha has left neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with a severe heat wave in its wake.

According to Met Department officials, the devastating cyclone that had its landfall in Puri last Friday, has sucked out the humidity in coastal districts and triggered a dry heat wave.

Unofficial death toll

Temperatures have shot up by 2 to 3 degrees Celsius above normal in almost all districts, but more so in the two Godavari districts (East and West), Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore, and also some of the Rayalaseema districts like Chittoor and Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh.

According to unofficial reports, the heat wave has claimed around 20 lives in Andhra Pradesh in the past 4-5 days. With the State under a caretaker government run by N Chandrababu Naidu, there has not been regular communication on the problem. The State, however, was adequately prepared to meet the challenges posed by the cyclone in terms of relief and rehabilitation.

Meanwhile in Telangana, a farmer died of heat stroke at Lakshmipur in Kamareddy district.

Poultry sector loss

The Met department said the dry heat spell will continue till Friday in most parts of the State. Nalgonda recorded 46 degrees Celsius today. Attributing the heatwave to dry winds coming from the northwestern region, officials said temperatures would continue to rise in Adilabad, Nizamabad, Warangal, Khammam, Nalgonda, Karimnagar and other districts in the next few days.

The poultry sector in Andhra Pradesh has taken a severe beating in the heat wave, with thousands of birds succumbing to the heat, according to industry sources. Andhra Pradesh, before bifurcation, was the number one egg producer in the country. Post-bifurcation, too, AP is one of the major producers.

The highest day temparature of 47 degrees C was recorded in Santanutalapadu in Prakasam district, while the average temperatures ranged between 40 to 43 degrees C. The met officials said the heat wave conditions will continue till May 10. In many of the coastal towns, especially Vijayawada, Guntur, Ongole Nellore, Kakinada and Rajahmundry, normal life was disrupted due to the intense heat, with people hardly venturing out of their homes and almost curfew-like conditions prevailed.

The coastal districts bordering Odisha, such as Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and to a lesser extent Visakhapatnam, had received heavy rains and gale during the landfall of the cyclone. Interestingly, in these districts, the temperatures are pretty much normal like every summer. Similarly, areas including the capital Amaravati experienced thunderstorms accompanied by gale and rain, bringing some respite.

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