Cyclone Laila: More NDRF teams moved to Andhra coastal districts

The Andhra Pradesh government has moved additional rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force to vulnerable places in the coastal districts of the state despite weakening of cyclonic storm Laila in the Bay of Bengal.

Last Updated: May 20, 2010, 18:08 PM IST

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government has
moved additional rescue teams of the National Disaster
Response Force to vulnerable places in the coastal districts
of the state despite weakening of cyclonic storm Laila in the
Bay of Bengal.

Three persons were killed in heavy rains in Sri Potti
Sriramulu Nellore district while two persons were reported
missing in Guntur district.
Communication links remained snapped in most parts of
Prakasam district, including the headquarters Ongole which
received 34 cm of rain in 12 hours since last night.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah told a press conference after a
high-level review meeting today that nine Army helicopters
have been kept ready for rescue operations even as 31,000
people have been shifted to relief camps in Prakasam, Guntur,
Krishna and Godavari districts.

"I spoke to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram twice over
phone today and he has assured me that 600-700 more personnel
from the NDRF will be sent to the cyclone-hit districts.
Already 550 NDRF men are on the job in four districts and 80
boats have also been pressed into service," Rosaiah said.

Though the intensity of Laila has reduced significantly,
winds blowing at a speed of 90-95 kmph still remained a cause
for concern as it could cause considerable destruction to
property, the Chief Minister noted.

Power supply has been totally cut off in 1492 villages and
11 towns in the coastal district due to the impact of the
cyclonic storm.
"At many places people are reluctant to move out to safety
from their houses. In fact, some fishermen ignored our
repeated warnings and ventured into the sea but fortunately so
far all have returned safely," Rosaiah said.

However, he said, the respective district authorities were
evacuating people from vulnerable places to safety even by
using force.

The police have deployed additional personnel from the AP
Special Police Battalions for rescue operations in affected
districts.

Replying to a question, Rosaiah said the loss to property
and crops could be estimated only after normalcy was restored.

PTI