The Minister says that the Army, the Navy, and the NDRF are on high alert

The official machinery is fully geared to meet the situation arising out of the threat of cyclone Phailin hitting the coast between Kalingapatnam in Srikakulam district and Gopalpur in Odisha, Revenue Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy has said.

The Minister, who arrived here on Saturday morning, visited the Cyclone Warning Centre (CWC), Doppler Radar Station at Kailasagiri, the Fishing Harbour along with Special Officer Harpreet Singh, other officials, and MLAs, and made a field inspection.

Addressing the media after the inspection, Mr. Reddy expressed satisfaction at the preparedness of the officials of various departments.

The Army, the Navy, and the NDRF were on high alert. He said 71 relief camps were set up to provide relief to people of 62 low-lying areas in Srikakulam district.

Unfortunately, some of the affected people were not ready to leave their homes and go to the shelters on the plea that the storm was not very strong or that there was hardly any rain.

He cautioned them saying that the Indian Meteorology Department warned of a severe cyclonic storm, and it would be unwise to take a risk. He appealed to them to cooperate with the officials and move to safer places, and said all arrangements had been made by the government to provide necessary amenities. Mr. Reddy said the district Collectors had been empowered, under Section 34 (C) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, to evacuate people of low-lying areas forcibly, if necessary. The Collectors had been asked to invoke the section, and with the help of police evict those who refused to leave for safer places.

He also reiterated his plea to the people of areas affected by the cyclone to cooperate with the officials. He commended the officers and staff of various departments, who were on strike for the past two months, for reporting to duty in view of the super cyclone threat. Stating that there was no room for complacency, he called for cooperation from all departments in minimising the losses.