All departments have been put on high alert by the State government on Wednesday as the threat of a cyclonic storm, ‘Phailin’, looms large over the North Andhra and Odisha coast due to a deep depression over the North Andaman Sea.

A bulletin issued by the India Meteorological Department said ‘Phailin’ crosses the Aandaman and Nicobar Island near Mayabandar by Wednesday noon resulting in heavy rainfall. It lay centred at 1,100 km off the Visakhapatnam coast. The cyclone is expected to reach the East coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip by October 12 night as a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ with a maximum wind speed of 175-200 kmph.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy held a high-level meeting with Revenue Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy, Disaster Management Commissioner T. Radha and others to review government’s preparedness in mounting relief and rescue operations. He wanted the situation to be constantly monitored and Coast Guard services requisitioned in advance.

Mr. Raghuveera Reddy said the cyclone would cause a severe impact on Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts. A control room has been opened in the Secretariat with the phone number 040- 23456005, 23451034, Fax no.040-23451819, he said. Collectors of all nine coastal districts were alerted and instructed to open control rooms in all vulnerable areas. The fishermen were being asked not to venture into the sea as the cyclone approached. The Minister said that all the line departments such as fire and emergency services, police, irrigation, transport, electricity, R&B, etc., were alerted to keep their teams ready in case of emergencies.