The district administration is gearing up to handle the very severe cyclonic storm, Hudhud, which is likely to make a landfall around Visakhapatnam on Sunday forenoon.
Disclosing the plans to tackle the eventualities, both pre- and post-landfall, District Collector N. Yuvaraj said, “We have already opened a control room with toll-free number 1800 425 00 002 and have appointed a special officer to take stock of the situation. We have also asked all mandal-level officials to move back to their headquarters and supervise the disaster management procedures.”
In Visakhapatnam district, the administration has identified 50 villages which could probably be inundated and officials are ready to evacuate over 79,600 people who inhabit these villages.
According to Mr. Yuvaraj, 671 mechanised boats have been kept on full alert, 450 of them near villages, to evacuate affected people. “This apart, we have identified 45 landing centres for the boats and the officers concerned in every mandal have been given the phone numbers of boat operators to coordinate the rescue operation. We are also coordinating with the Indian Navy and Coast Guard,” said the District Collector.
The administration had also taken up minor repairs of 90 cyclone shelter homes and in total 125 shelter homes across the district have been declared as ‘operation fit’.
Mr. Yuvaraj said food, medicine and water had been stocked in adequate quantity to take care of the evacuees for at least one month, should the situation demand.
The district administration had identified about 83 low-lying areas in the district, of which around 12 were in the GVMC limits. They included Velampeta, Gannapuram, Viman Nagar, Kancharapalem Mettu and Poorna Market area.
Four companies of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) would reach Visakhapatnam from Mangalagiri on Friday, and two companies each would be despatched to other likely-to-be-affected districts such as Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and East Godavari.
The GVMC had also identified about 15 schools and kalyanamandapams to serve as shelter homes. “The common diseases are diarrhoea and viral fever and we have kept the medicines ready,” said GVMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. M.S. N. Raju.
Chairman-cum-Managing Director of APEPDCL M.V. Seshagiri Babu said that both men and material such as poles and conductors had been moved to safe places in cyclone-prone areas to take care of any damage and restore supply lines at the earliest.