VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh government has put on high alert three districts – Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam, as they have become vulnerable to impending cyclonic storm in Bay of Bengal.
Collectors of the three districts have identified 86,000 families living in low-lying areas for evacuation. Arrangements are being made to shift them to high ground cyclone shelters on need basis. Nearly 59,496 fishermen families live along the 378 km coastline in the three districts.
Collectors have instructed revenue divisional officers, tahsildars and officials of other line departments to take immediate precautionary measures to face any eventuality.
Earlier, Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy reviewed preparedness in facing the cyclonic storm with officials at his camp office. He directed government machinery to take all necessary measures required to face the cyclone. “As heavy rainfall is expected when the cyclonic storm crosses the coastline, we should be prepared to face any eventuality, including dealing with the post-storm scenario,” the CM observed.
Officials informed the Chief Minister that personnel from AP State Disaster Management Authority (APSDMA) have already been deployed in the three vulnerable districts. Control rooms have also been set up at village secretariats.
At the state level, a state emergency operations centre has been set up to monitor the situation round the clock. Emergency operation centres have also been activated with all communication systems in vulnerable districts. As many as 76 mandal emergency operation centres, 145 multipurpose cyclone centres, 16 fish-landing centres and eight tourist locations have been connected to state and district level emergency centres.
APSDMA has already positioned one SDRF team in Visakhapatnam and two in Srikakulam. One more team is being deployed in Visakhapatnam. Officers of essential services like police, transport, power, telecommunications, and drinking water have been instructed to be ready. Adequate stocks of essential commodities have been positioned at central points.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea up to September 27. Due to prevalence of Covid-19, health authorities have been instructed to keep ready buffer stocks of oxygen and be ready with plans to evacuate Covid-19 patients to safety.