Cyclone expected to cross AP coast tomorrow, state on alert | india | Hindustan Times
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Cyclone expected to cross AP coast tomorrow, state on alert

With the severe cyclonic storm Laila expected to cross Andhra Pradesh coast tomorrow morning, the entire administration is on high alert and has geared up to evacuate people from vulnerable areas.

india Updated: May 19, 2010 14:35 IST

With the severe cyclonic storm Laila expected to cross Andhra Pradesh coast on Thursday morning, the entire administration is on high alert and has geared up to evacuate people from vulnerable areas.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah, who chaired a high-level meeting to take stock of the situation, directed ministers from nine coastal districts to rush to their areas and supervise rescue and relief operations.

"Laila may cause devastation in the coastal districts from Prakasam to Visakhapatnam. We have to be on a high alert and ensure that there is no loss of life," Rosaiah told his cabinet colleagues.

The chief minister also instructed the respective district collectors to evacuate people from vulnerable areas.

"Use force if required. But ensure that there is no panic," he told them.

Senior IAS officers have already left for the coastal districts.

Teams of National Disaster Response Force from Arakkonam near Chennai have reached Krishna and West Godavari districts to help the local administration in the rescue operations.

NDRF teams from Bhubaneswar are also being rushed to the north-coastal Andhra districts while boats and helicopters are being pressed into service for emergency operations, sources in the Chief Minister’s Office said.

Reports from Sri Potti Sriramulu Nellore district said over 50 fishermen who ventured into the Pulicat lake were trapped in an island and efforts were on to rescue them.

Disaster Management Department authorities from Hyderabad are co-ordinating with the Nellore district officials even as fresh warnings have been issued in all coastal districts barring fishermen from venturing into the sea, official sources said.

Meanwhile, the Congress had cancelled its re-dedication meeting here, planned for tomorrow coinciding with the first anniversary of the current government, in view of the cyclone threat as all ministers have been directed to rush to the districts.