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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Cyclone Phailin: Defence, Army & Navy battle ready says Andhra CM

None  Hyderabad, October 12, 2013
First Published: 19:06 IST(12/10/2013) | Last Updated: 19:10 IST(12/10/2013)

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Saturday said that all measures have been put in place to guarantee that there is minimum damage post the cyclonic storm Phailin.

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Reddy said this after he held a review meeting with the Collectors of the coastal districts.

'People living in coastal areas have to take a lot of precautions. There is a possibility of heavy rainfall and strong winds. I have informed the authorities to move people living in low-lying areas to safer region. More than one lakh people are moved to safer places.
Cattle and other animals are also shifted to safer places, said Reddy.

'Senior IAS officials are closely monitoring the situation in these districts. Army, Navy, Defence, NDRF and revenue departments are in their positions,' he added.

Highlighting that all measures have been put in place, Reddy said there is no need to worry.

'Water tanks supplying drinking water, and milk for children will be provided by the authorities. If there is any discrepancy in communication, satellite phones, ham radio and other wireless sets have been arranged. We will try to minimize the damage as much as possible. We are taking all precautions and so we don?t have to worry,' he said.

'All the ministers are monitoring the situation. Though the intensity of the cyclone is high, we are well prepared. Doctors, para-medical staff and veterinary doctors are in positions. We have not compromised on anything,' he added.

Meanwhile, District Revenue Officer Venkateshwara Rao said that over 52,000 people have been evacuated so far.

"See we are taking all precautionary measures. We have geared up the entire district administration. We have arranged teams for each zone and besides, identifying the prone areas, we have arranged one in charge officer to each area and we have identified 62 areas where the public have to be evacuated,? said Rao.

'Roughly estimated, people to be evacuated are 52,000 -- those who are residing just along the river banks  and beside some coastal areas and sea ,  like the fishermen,' he added.

As per the latest reports, cyclonic storm Phailin is closing in towards coastal Odisha and Andhra Pradesh at wind speeds averaging 200-210 km per hour and is expected to hit the two states between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. today.

Massive evacuation operations have been taking place since yesterday evening, and the MET Department has confirmed that the process is almost complete in an attempt to minimize damage.

Indian Railways have cancelled seven long-route express trains including Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express.  It also terminated and diverted a number of trains in view of the severe cyclone Phailin. All trains on the Howrah-Visakhapatnam route have been cancelled. The trains are likely to be cancelled tomorrow as well

As many as 17 flights from Biju Patnaik airport at Bhubaneswar have also been cancelled.


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more from Phailin, eye of the storm

This time from sarpanch to state minister, all were in Phailin duty: Naveen Patnaik

Choosing not to celebrate his birthday, Naveen Patnaik was holding rehabilitation and relief meetings with senior officials with focus on restoring electricity in the worst-affected Ganjam district. He spoke to Shishir Gupta in an exclusive interview in Bhubhaneshwar.

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