As per the IMD bulletin issued at 5:30 pm on Monday, Lehar is over the southeast Bay of Bengal and remained practically stationary during the past three hours and lay centred at 2:30 pm on Monday over the southeast Bay of Bengal, about 1200 km east-southeast of Machillipatnam on the Andhra coast.
    
"The system would intensify further gradually into a very severe cyclonic storm and would move west-northwestwards and cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Machillipatnam and Kalingapatnam near Kakinada around November 28 noon," Andhra Pradesh Disaster Management Commissioner C Parthasarathi told reporters in Hyderabad on Monday night.
    
Under the influence of the system, moderate rainfall at many places would commence from November 27 afternoon over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and South Coastal Odisha.
    
The intensity of Lehar would gradually increase with rainfall at most places and heavy-to-very heavy falls being witnessed at a few places. Isolated extremely heavy falls over north coastal Andhra Pradesh on November 28 are also expected.
    
"MeT officials tell us that this cyclone would approximately have the same intensity of 'Phailin' that hit Odisha and north coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh)," he said.
    
Squally winds speed reaching 45-55 kmph, gusting to 65 kmph, would commence along and off Andhra Pradesh from Wednesday evening. It would increase in intensity with gale wind speed reaching 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph along and off coastal districts of north coastal Andhra Pradesh and adjoining south coastal Andhra Pradesh at the time of landfall, the bulletin said.
    
Lehar is expected to cause extensive damage to thatched houses, disrupt power and communication lines and also rail and road traffic. Widespread damage is also feared for agriculture crops.

(Agencies)

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