Krishna District Collector P. Rajababu has said the administration has taken all steps necessary in view of the IMD’s prediction that the deep depression over Southwest Bay of Bengal will intensify into a cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours and cross South Andhra Pradesh coast between Nellore and Machilipatnam on December 5.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD), in a release on December 2 (Saturday), said the cyclonic storm touching Machilipatnam is likely to have a maximum sustained wind speed of 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph. The impact of the cyclone will be seen in seven of the 25 mandals of the district.
Following IMD’s advisory, Mr. Rajababu said fishermen in 63 villages have been asked not to venture into the sea, river or backwaters for six days, from December 1 to 6, and farmers have been asked to harvest mature crops immediately. Paddy has been grown in 3.74 lakh acres in the district and most of it is in the harvesting stage, he said.
“We have set up control centres and rehabilitation centres at schools, and kept on standby National Disaster Response Force. We also have an evacuation plan ready as of now, but waiting to hear from the IMD officials for further updates. We will know about the severity of the cyclone by tonight,” he said, adding that the administration has also stocked food packets, water, medicines and provisions in the event of the situation turning worse.
While there are 47 rehabilitation shelters in 11 mandals of the district, 27 are in good condition, and a few others require repairs. The administration has therefore identified 52 temporary ones in schools and colleges. The Collector said a decision on whether all schools in the affected mandals of the district should be shut will be taken tomorrow.
Three government officers from different departments have been asked to monitor the situation in every mandal. Mechanised boats have been kept ready to evacuate people from islands to the mainland should the need arise, he said. He added that generators and mobile towers have been arranged in case the storm, having a high wind speed, damages connections and disrupts power.
People in emergency can dial 8672 252572 for help.