More than 1,600 NDRF personnel have been dispatched to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh as part of preparations to handle the possible fallout of the "very severe" cyclone Phailin that is set to make landfall on Saturday.
"While 14 teams (559 personnel and 37 boats) are deployed at different locations in preparedness for impending cyclonic storm Phailin in Andhra Pradesh, 23 teams (950 personnel and 80 boats) are deployed at different locations in Odisha," National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Vice-Chairman Shashidhar Reddy said.
He added that extra teams of NDRF with manpower and equipment have been deployed.
"We are ready to provide whatever help the state government asks for. We have also appealed to people to be ready for evacuation in short notice," he said.
Meanwhile, union home secretary Anil Goswami held a special meeting of the national executive committee to review cyclone preparedness.
Sources said the secretaries of Defence, Telecom, Power, Water, Railways, Food among others were part of the committee besides resident commissioners of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Later Goswami briefed cabinet secretary Ajit Seth about the possible situation arising out of the impending cyclone in the two states.
The state governments have been instructed to remove people from sensitive areas as they claimed that maximum evacuation has been done.
Huge rains, up to 25 cm, is expected by tomorrow. "We are better prepared than in Uttarakhand disaster. Windspeed as per latest bulletin is going to be more than initial prediction," Reddy said.
He said 20,000 people in Srikakulam and 40,000 in Vishakapattnam have been evacuated.
Medical teams of Union health ministry are also getting ready to travel to the two states at a short notice.
The other regions which are expected to be affected by the cyclone include North Chhattisgarh, South Jharkhand, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and gangetic West Bengal.
"Around 1.2 crore people are expected to be affected by the cyclone," he said.
Reddy said authorities have to gear up to a situation where a lot of damage can be expected and crops, roads, houses are likely to be affected.