Cyclone Helen damages crops in India
A file photo of residents standing outside a flooded house after heavy rains in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad affected by Cyclone Phailin - (Reuters)

Even as the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh is recovering from the trail of havoc left behind by cyclone Helen, another tropical storm, called Leher, is brewing in the Bay of Bengal.

According to, the storm is gathering strength and could strike north coastal Andhra Pradesh by the middle of this week.

Leher is predicted to unleash wind speeds of up to 150kmph [93mph], more powerful than Helen's 100kmph [62mph]. It is also forecast to dump huge amounts of rainfall on the coastal areas.

Cyclone Helen has killed six people and caused widespread damage to crops in the region. Paddy crops spread over 350,000 hectares and horticultural plantations over nearly 8,700 hectares have been destroyed.

The destruction of crops comes as a fresh blow to farmers in the Indian coastal regions as they are already reeling under the devastation caused by Cyclone Phailin earlier.

About 25,000 people have been displaced by the latest cyclone and are currently living in makeshift shelters while torrential rains continue to lash the region. Strong winds accompanied by heavy rains have wrecked at least 350 houses.

Officials have announced compensation to farmers for the damaged crops. Kiran Kumar Reddy, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, has urged local officials to closely monitor the relief measures.

Dozens of fishermen who ventured into the sea luckily escaped the fury of Helen and were safely brought back to shore with the help of coast guard personnel.

Power supply in more than 500 of the 700 affected villages has been restored.