A tsunami alert had been sounded following an earthquake in Indonesia asking people living on the coastal areas to be wary. A control room was set up in the Collector's Office. District Collector J. Syamala Rao asked fishermen not to venture into the sea, and those already left should return.

Around 3.30 p.m. on Sunday the beach was deserted with police chasing away people and moving around with megaphones warning about the danger of tsunami. Shop-keepers on the beach shut their business and the onlookers remained on the road.

Mr. Syamala Rao and Police Commissioner J.Purnachandra Rao watched the situation. MLA Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao also visited the beach. After 4 p.m., when the alert was withdrawn, people slowly began moving onto the beach.

Owing to hot weather and as it was Sunday evening, the favourite haunt of the city Ramakrishna beach turned more crowded with curious onlookers rushing to the beach. However, no unusual wave action was seen.

While the Disaster Management Commissioner issued an alert in the morning, it was withdrawn by the afternoon.

Sources in the Cyclone Warning Centre said Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Service (INCOIS) had ruled out any threat to mainland India or the Andaman and Nicobar by the afternoon.

The fishing harbour that experienced mild tsunami when it struck in 2004 remained undisturbed and continued with repair and painting of the vessels with a fishing holiday on.

Control room set up

Following the tsunami alert issued by State Government on Sunday, the district administration has set up control rooms in the Collector's office (phone numbers 0884-2365424 /2365428) and Kakinada, Amalapuram and Peddapuram revenue division offices to monitor the situation prevalent in 15 coastal mandals and take necessary measures during any contingency.

In-Charge Collector K Sasidhar, Kakinada RDO G.C. Kishore Kumar and Pithapuram MLA Vanga Geeta visited the beach at Vakalapudi and Uppada and examined the conditions there. The sea was more turbulent at Uppada where coastal erosion had been a persistent problem. The situation was normal along the coast but for strong waves lashing the coast at a few places.

The existing seasonal ban on fishing proved to be safe for the fisher folk, who confined themselves to their homes ever since the 45–day ban came into effect on April 15.

Nevertheless, alert was sought to be maintained till the fear of tidal waves hitting this coastal region subsides. Personnel of the Fisheries and Police Departments were also put on alert.

Keywords: Tsunami alert

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