Six fishermen from Srikakulam district in north coastal Andhra Pradesh were reported missing in Bay of Bengal on Sunday evening as the cyclonic storm Gulab moved closer to the shore and is likely to make landfall around midnight.
The three north coastal districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam had been receiving moderate to heavy rain under the influence of Gulab.
AP State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner K Kanna Babu said Gulab lay centered around 85 km from Kalingapatnam in Srikakulam district and likely to cross the coast between Kalingapatnam and Gopalpur (in Odisha) around midnight.
He reviewed the situation with the district Collectors and other officials in Visakhapatnam and directed them to be on high alert.
Six fishermen from Palasa, who returning to their native village by sea in a new boat they purchased in Odisha two days ago, were feared missing in the storm.
One of the six called his village over phone and informed that their boat lost balance and five of his fellow fishermen were lost in the sea. Subsequently, his mobile phone too went silent, indicating that he too might have gone missing.
The villagers brought this to the notice of Fisheries Minister S Appala Raju, who immediately called the Navy authorities for help to trace and rescue the missing fishers.
Meanwhile, the South Central Railway informed in a release that eight trains on the Vijayawada-Howrah route were diverted via Kharagpur, Jharsuguda, Bilaspur and Balharshah. Two other trains that were supposed to begin journey on Sunday, have been rescheduled for Monday.