New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday directed top central officials to ensure there are no bottlenecks in relief and rescue operations in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha as he took stock of the situation of the two cyclone-hit states on the eve of his visit to Vishakapatnam.
He instructed top officials of the Central government to continue to work closely with the affected states to ensure that there are no bottlenecks in relief and rescue work, a PMO statement said.
At the high-level meeting on the aftermath of cyclone Hudhud, he also emphasised the need to document learnings from this cyclone, and to put in place more precise drills and disaster management plans involving all stakeholders, especially in areas which are prone to such disasters.
The Prime Minister was briefed on the extent of destruction, including the damage to infrastructure such as roads, railway lines, buildings, power and telecommunication lines, the statement said.
He was also given an overview of the status of relief operations and steps taken to ensure supply of essential commodities including food, drinking water and fuel.
The extent of damage to standing crops shall be assessed over the next few days, the meeting was told.
The meeting came a day before he visits Visakhapatnam for a first-hand assessment of the situation there. He will also take an aerial view of the affected parts of Odisha.
The Centre today pegged the death toll at 17 in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha where over 13,000 people have been evacuated to safer places so far.
"A total of 17 people have lost their lives, 14 in Andhra Pradesh and 3 in Odisha," an official statement by the MHA said.
So far, 13,256 people (11,853 in Andhra Pradesh and 1,403 in Odisha) have been evacuated to safer places, the statement said.