New Delhi: Evacuation of lakhs of people in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh began on Saturday, a day before Cyclone Hudhud is expected to make a landfall near Visakhapatnam coast.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to chair a high-level meeting today evening to review the preparedness of both the states.
Thousands of people have already been shifted from Andhra Pradesh districts of Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari. South Odisha and coastal parts of the state witnessed rains in the state today.
24,000 people were shifted from Visakhapatnam district, 15,000 from Vizianagaram and 46,000 from Srikakulam and 160 from East Godavari district so far, Special Commissioner, State Disaster Management Authority, K Hymavathi told PTI here.
“Cyclone Hudhud will cross the coast tomorrow from Vizag. Heavy to very heavy rainfall are likely to be experienced. South coastal Odisha districts will also face the cyclone,” Director of Met Department, K Ramachandra Rao, told ANI.
The cyclone is presently at a distance of 330 kms southeast of Vishakhapatnam and 380 kms south-southeast of Gopalpur, the IANS reported.
According to NASA forecast, the cyclone will intensify to around 100 knots (185 kmps) before it makes a landfall on Sunday afternoon.
Cyclone Hudhud was upgraded to “very severe” cyclonic storm by the the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has reportedly asked Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for satellite images of the coastal regions as it would be helpful in speeding up rescue and restoration work.
The administration of both the states have set up relief camps and stocked up essentials including food, water and medicines.
At least 15 teams of NDRF, 250 Army personnel, four Naval ships and 10 helicopters of Indian Navy and IAF have been put on standby.
Around 38 trains were cancelled and several other diverted by the East Coast railway for Sunday.
Indian Railways has cancelled 40 trains between Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam while 40 others have been diverted.
The 12861 Vishakhapatnam H. Nizzamuduin Link express and 12807 Vishakhapatnam H. Nizzamuduin Samta express scheduled to depart from Vishakkapatnam tomorrow has been cancelled.
Similarly, the 12808 H. Nizzamuduin - Vishakhapatnam Samta express leaving from H. Nizzamudin on October 14 will also remain cancelled.
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) today cancelled two flights from Odisha’s capital city to Vishakhapatnam.