Hyderabad/Visakhapatnam, Oct 12 (INN): All nine districts of north coastal Andhra have been put on high alert as the as the cyclonic storm Phailin in Bay of Bengal is set to hit the eastern coast by Saturday evening around 7 PM.
More than 64,000 people have been evacuated from Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts. More number of people living in low lying areas are also being shifted to safer places. Revenue Minister Dr N Raghuveera Reddy, who reached Visakhapatnam on Saturday, informed that the armed forces and teams of National Disaster Response Force were on standby. He said all efforts were being made to minimise the damage. The vulnerable areas which are likely to be hit by Phailin have been identified and people are being shifted to safer places.
Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), in its bulletin issued on Saturday morning, stated that Phailin centered about 260 km southeast of Gopalpur, 270 km east-southeast of Kalingapatnam and 310 km south-southeast of Paradip. It would move northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts between Kalingapatnam and Paradip, close to Gopalpur (Odisha) by Saturday evening as a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 210-220 kmph gusting to 240 kmph,” it said. (INN)