The Srikakulam district administration on Friday morning braced itself to tackle any exigency as cyclonic storm Phailin over Bay of Bengal intensified and is expected to cross the coast on Saturday.

Though the situation is calm now, it may turn aggressive from Friday night. Gales with wind speeds of 185 kmph are likely to cause heavy damage in 11 mandals, including Itchapuram, Kaviti, Sompeta and Mandasa and Vajarapukotturu.

Uddanam region, where more than 10 lakh coconut trees provide livelihood to thousands of farmers, is expected to be worst hit.

Srikakulam Collector Saurabh Gaur left for Itchapuram to monitor the situation. The cyclone is likely to cross between Gopalpur of Odisha and Kalingapatnam. Gopalpur is 30 km away from Itchapuram, border town of Andhra Pradesh. Kalingapatnam is 25 km away from Srikakulam town.

Mr. Gaur told The Hindu that all the officials of the revenue and other departments were advised to stay in the designated areas to take up relief measures quickly.

Evacuation of people began in 237 sensitive villages of 11 coastal mandals. As many as 110 cyclone shelters were identified to accommodate people.

Movement of heavy vehicles on Kolkata-Chennai national highway has bee stopped. The administration has advised people to remain indoors. Fishermen who were out in the sea returned on Friday morning.

Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will be on standby at Baruva, Vajrapukotturu and Kalingapatnam.