The storm was likely to hit the Andhra coast by late afternoon. He, however, did not rule out the possibility of the cyclone changing its course and moving northwards towards Orissa. As a precautionary measure, Storm Warning Signal 10 hoisted across all the sea ports has not been withdrawn. The wind speed will be in between 100-110 km per hour and will go up to 120km per hour.
Cyclone Laila is likely to hit Andhra coast by this evening. But why the rather lyrical name for a powerful cyclonic storm that has forced the evacuation of thousands even before it hits land? the name “Laila” for this cyclone was suggested by Pakistan. Over 40000 people are evacuated from low-lying areas of Andhra Pradesh. Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur, rishna, West Godavari and East Godavari districts are likely to bear the brunt of the cyclonic storm even as heavy to extremely heavy rain has been forecast in the coastal districts in the next 36 hours.
Army and Navy units have been put on standby for relief rescue operations. Air and rail traffic has also been hit with trains towards Vijayawada and Vishakapatnam running slow.
The authorities have flagged danger signal seven in all sea ports and fishermen have been strongly cautioned about venturing out to sea.
The Cyclone Laila would bring widespread rainfall with scattered heavy to very heavy falls and isolated extremely heavy falls during the next 48 hours in north coastal Tamil Nadu and coastal Andhra Pradesh.
The Andhra Pradesh Government has opened over 120 relief camps.