Cyclone Gulab: People evacuated from coastal areas of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh
Lakhs of people in southern coastal districts of India's eastern state of Odisha and adjoining Andhra Pradesh were evacuated ahead of cyclone Gulab's landfall this evening.
The authorities sounded an "orange" alert, and deployed naval ships and aircraft for rescue and relief operations, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
As a precautionary measure, train services on the east coast that pass through Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have been canceled, diverted, or rescheduled, railway ministry officials said.
An ''orange'' alert is issued as a warning of extremely bad weather with the potential to disrupt the power supply.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 18 teams -- 13 in Odisha and five in Andhra Pradesh, Satya Narayan Pradhan, NDRF Director-General said.
This is the third cyclone to hit India this year after Tauktae and Yaas that swept the southwestern and eastern coasts respectively in May, leaving behind a trail of devastation.
Cyclone Gulab (a name given by Pakistan as part of the World Met Organization) packed wind speeds of 75 to 85 km per hour and is moving westward, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said adding it will make landfall by Sunday evening between Gopalpur in Odisha and Kalingapattinam in Andhra Pradesh.
The northern districts of Andhra Pradesh and some areas in adjacent Tamil Nadu and Telangana states have been experiencing heightened rainfall in the last 24 hours.
The Odisha government has pulled back people in low-lying areas of seven identified districts in the southern parts of the state. The maximum focus is on Ganjam and Gajapati, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said.
The Indian Navy has carried out preparatory activities to combat the effects of the cyclone and is in constant liaison with the state administrations for rendering assistance as required.
Flood relief and diving teams of the Navy have been positioned in Odisha and are ready at Visakhapatnam and Andhra Pradesh to render immediate assistance, a Defence Ministry release said today.
Two Naval ships are already at sea with humanitarian assistance, disaster relief materials, and medical teams to render assistance in the areas expected to be the most affected.
Naval aircraft have been deployed near Chennai to undertake an aerial survey of the cyclone-affected areas, casualty evacuation, and airdrop of relief material as required.