It has intensified into a cyclonic storm and has moved over southwest and the west-central Bay of Bengal early in the day. According to the Regional Meteorological Centre, it is expected at 260 km east-northeast of Chennai and 270 km south-southeast of Kakinada at 5.30 am.
The storm will intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm over the next few hours and will reportedly weaken before it makes a landfall near Kakinada in the evening.
Heavy to very heavy rainfalls have been forecasted over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Puducherry on Sunday and Monday.
The authorities have alerted the people about the cyclone and heavy rain. People are adviced not to venture into the sea.
#CyclonePhethai will make landfall between Yanam and Tuni by 17th Dec afternoon. Rough to very rough sea state in Coastal Andhra and gusty winds (80-100 Kmph) over Coastal East Godavari and South Visakhapatnam districts with heavy rainfall forecast. Citizens must stay alert.
— Andhra Pradesh CM (@AndhraPradeshCM) December 16, 2018
Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu discussed the mitigation techniques with collectors of four districts on Sunday. A high alert has been declared by the authorities in districts of Guntur, Krishna, West Godavari, East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, and Srikakulam. Schools in these districts will observe a holiday on Monday and Tuesday.
As good as 16 teams of the Andhra Pradesh Disaster Response and Fire Services are ready to be deployed at Rajamahendravaram, and another 5 are posted in West Godavari district.
Naval aircraft are on standby at INS Dega and INS Rajali stations. The Eastern Naval Command is prepared to conduct rescue and relief operations if required.