Cyclone Phailin: AP, Odisha gear up

Cyclone Phailin: AP, Odisha gear up

Cyclone Phailin: Andhra Pradesh, Odisha Gear Up. With the Met department putting the two neighbouring states on cyclonic alert, the two regions are making preparations to battle cyclone Phailin.

Hyderabad/Bhubaneswar: With the Met department putting the two neighbouring states on cyclonic alert, the two regions are making preparations to battle cyclone Phailin. In Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has put all departments on high alert in view of the cyclone threat over the North Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Coast.

The Chief Minister on Wednesday held a review meeting with Ministers and top officials of various departments concerned on the threat of cyclone and the preparedness in this regard. Finance Minister Anam Ramnarayan Reddy, Revenue Minister Dr N Raghuveera Reddy, Social Welfare Minister Pithani Satyanarayana, Health Minister Kondru Murali, Chief Secretary Dr.P.K.Mohanty, Disaster Management Commissioner Dr.T Radha, Principal Secretaries B R Meena (Revenue), D Sambasuva Rao (Finance) and Aravind Reddy (Irrigation), Civil Supplies Corporation MD Anil Kumar and other officials attended the meeting.

The Chief Minister asked the officials to be on alert and constantly monitor the situation and can request for helicopters, boats and coast guard services etc in advance. He said fishermen should be kept informed and be asked not to venture into the see as the cyclone approaches. He also asked the officials to mobilise vehicles and rescue teams including NDRF teams if necessary and also asked the Civil Supplies Department to stock all essential commodities of one month's requirement.

Reddy asked the Power sector officials to be on high alert since there is likelihood of power being disrupted due to gales and winds etc. He asked the officials to ask the District Collectors concerned to evacuate people to safer areas whenever and wherever necessary. He asked them to protect the life and property of the people. He wanted the departments to work in close coordination with the District Collectors and Department of Disaster Management.
After crossing North Andaman Islands, the deep depression over east central Bay of Bengal tonight intensified into cyclonic storm Phailin, while remaining practically stationary at about 950 km from Paradip, the IMD said in its latest bulletin.

North-northeast of Port Blair, 1100 km east-southeast of Paradip, 1200 km east-southeast of Visakhapatnam. The system according to forecast would intensify into a cyclonic storm during next 12 hours. It would move west-northwestwards and cross Andaman islands near Mayabandar by noon of today, the 9th October 2013 as a cyclonic storm. It would then continue to move west-northwestwards for some time and then northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip by night of 12th October, 2013 as a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 175-185 kmph.

As precautionary measure, round the clock Control Room has been opened in Revenue (DM) Department in the Secretariat premises. The Telephone Number is 040-23456005/23451034, Fax No.040-23451819.

District Collectors of all nine Coastal Districts are already alerted regarding the IMD's Pre-cyclone watch bulletin and instructed to open control rooms in all vulnerable areas and to remain alert. All line departments such as Fire and Emergency services, Police, Irrigation, Transport, Electricity, R&B, RWS, MA & UD, Fisheries Departments being alerted to keep their teams in case of emergencies.

Meanwhile, the Odisha state government today cancelled puja holidays of its employees in 14 districts and ordered deployment of Disaster Rapid Force in all vulnerable points.

"The state government has cancelled puja holidays of employees in coastal districts in view of possible cyclone," Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro told reporters.

"Besides issuing instructions to other departments to remain alert to the situation, the government has already ordered deployment of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF)," he said. The minister also directed that a mock drill of ODRAF and fire personnel be held. The latest bulletin issued by the Met department suggested that a tropical storm brewing over the Andaman sea would gather speed and destructive power when it crossed the Odisha-Andhra coast on Saturday. "The wind speed of the system during the landfall will be between 175 to 185 km per hour," the bulletin said.

The depression over the North Andaman Sea which moved northwestward with a speed of 13 kmph during the past 6 hours, intensified into a deep depression and lay centred at 5.30 am today over north Andaman Sea, about 1100 km east-southeast of Paradip and 1200 km east-southeast of Visakhapatnam, it said.

Meanwhile, the state government has asked fishermen not to venture into the sea as its condition would remain rough tillMonday.

The district authorities have also been asked to take required steps in villages located by the sea coast. The 14 coastal districts where maximum alert has been issued are Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Ganjam and Gajapati.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was likely to take stock of the situation arising out of the impending cyclone.

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