The government today deployed the armed forces for a coordinated response to the havoc caused by cyclone Laila that hit Andhra Pradesh coast.
A Defence Ministry release said the Army moved three columns, each comprising 96 men including doctors, from Hyderabad to East Godavari, West Godavari and Krishna districts while the IAF mobilised two Chetak and two MI-8 helicopters to carry out rescue and relief operations to the affected people of the state.
The IAF also put on standby 10 AN-32s and an IL-76 aircraft to meet any eventuality, it said.
A Naval team comprising 33 men with five Gemini boats reached Narsapur in West Godavari district, while two Dornier aircraft and two Chetak helicopters of the Coast Guard conducted sorties to trace the vessels still out at sea during the day.
An Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) too was pressed into action by the Coast Guard, it added.
A high-level meeting of senior armed forces officers was held here in the evening to review the preparedness and plan a swift response.
The Services Headquarters also set up a coordination cell at the Andhra Sub-Area headquarters in Hyderabad to coordinate all rescue and relief efforts. The situation is being closely monitored, the Defence Ministry added.