Shift people living in thatched and tiled houses, elderly people and children to relief camps: Collector

The district administration has initiated steps to avoid loss of human life and minimise the damage as cyclone Lehar is expected to cause heavy to very heavy rains in the district from midnight on Wednesday.

In particular, Payakaraopeta, Nakkapalli, S. Rayavaram, and Rambilli mandals were expected to receive heavy rains and winds with the possibility of coastal areas and low-lying areas getting inundated, Collector Solomon Arokia Raj said on Wednesday evening.

Hence, officers were told to shift people living in thatched and tiled houses to the nearest relief camp. They were told to shift elderly persons and children to the camps in advance since the cyclone was likely to bring heavy rains and winds during midnight.

Five lakh empty bags were procured and sent to the five irrigation circles as part of efforts to plug breaches (by filling the bags with sand) that might occur along the course of the three main rivers in the district. VROs and sarpanches should work in coordination to minimise the loss and take up shifting of people to the relief camps.

Six NDRF teams that arrived in the district were sent to the rural area and two helicopters were kept ready in case of emergency, the Collector said.

Nearly, all the boats that left for fishing had returned to the fishing harbour here and the 40 boats that were at sea were expected to be back soon. Officers and staff at the district headquarters and all mandal headquarters were on alert round the clock, Mr. Arokia Raj said.

‘Take no chances’

GVMC Commissioner M.V. Satyanarayana visited the low-lying areas in Bheemunipatnam that were likely to be affected by the cyclone. He advised the local people not to take chances and move to the relief camps since the cyclone was expected to be very severe. Fishermen should not go for fishing, he said.

At a review meeting at Bheemunipatnam Zonal Office, he told the officials to take all measures to save lives and property and people in any area that might be affected must be shifted to the relief camps.

If people were not willing to move to the relief camps, the GVMC officers and staff could take the help of the police, Mr. Satyanarayana said.

He told Zonal Commissioner A. Ramamohana Rao to keep some employees on vigil to monitor the situation near the low-lying areas and hill slopes. All drains and ‘geddas’ should be cleared of debris and garbage to avoid overflowing in case of heavy rains. The area near the beach needed special attention in view of waves raising very high, he said.

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