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Cyclone Laila hits train services in coastal Andhra

Hyderabad, May 20 (IANS) The severe cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal has badly hit train services in coastal Andhra Pradesh with as many as 31 passenger trains being cancelled and some others diverted.

In view of heavy rains and gales in nine coastal districts, which are under the influence of cyclone Laila, the South Central Railway announced cancellation of 31 passenger trains Thursday and Friday.

It was also decided to reduce the speed of other trains to 60 km per hour when the cyclone crosses the coast later in the day.

Several trains are running four to six hours late due to incessant rains and gales. In Ongole town of Prakasam district, railway tracks were inundated, affecting train services.

In Vijayawada railway division, all passenger trains were cancelled. Important trains which were cancelled include the Chennai-Howrah Coromandel Express, Krishna-Tirupati Puri Express, Rajahmundry-Visakhapatnam passenger train, Tirupati-Adilabad Krishna Express, and Tirupati-Bilaspur and Tirupati-Guduru passenger trains.

The Howrah-Hyderabad East Coast Express was running five hours late, while the Chennai-Vijayawada Jan Shatabdi Express returned to Chennai from Nellore.

Visakhapatnam-Guntur Simhadri Express and Howrah-Hyderabad special train were stopped in Tuni in East Godavari district due to heavy rains.

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