New Delhi: National Disaster Response Force director general Krishna Chaudhary on Friday said that 23 NDRF teams have been deputed in Odisha, and 11 in Andhra Pradesh at locations identified by the state governments.
"As far as NDRF is concerned, we have deputed 23 teams in Odisha and 11 in Andhra Pradesh at locations identified by the state government. In addition, we have kept some teams on standby. These teams have gone with all the medical supplies and search and rescue equipment. There are also teams deputed by the state governments," he told media here on Friday.
Key senior officials of the Government of India have reportedly attended a meeting in the Home Ministry to review the state of preparedness for countering the after effects of Cyclone Phailin, which is expected to hit the coastal areas of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh late on Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, at least 65,000 people in at least five districts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are to be evacuated by rescue and relief teams. Several thousands have already been moved to shelters in anticipation of the cyclone.
Satellite images show Cyclone Phailin to be about 500 kilometres off the coast in the Bay of Bengal and is likely to make a landfall any time after Saturday evening, with widespread flooding expected from surges.
The Indian Meteorological Department said Phailin would hit between Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and the major port of Paradip in Odisha state and predicted flooding from expected storm surges of about three meters (10 feet) above normal tides.
Authorities in the two states have warned of extensive damage to crops, village dwellings and old buildings, as well as disruption of power, water and rail services. Shelters were being stocked with rations, and leave for government employees for Dussehra have been cancelled.