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Cyclone threat: Tens of thousands evacuated along AP coast

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Hyderabad, Oct 11 (PTI) Tens of thousands of people from low-lying areas of coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh have been evacuated as the state intensified preparations to face Cyclone Hudhud, expected to reach the northern coastline around Visakhapatnam by forenoon tomorrow.

As many as 24,000 people were shifted from Visakhapatnam district, 15,000 from Vizianagaram and 46,000 from Srikakulam and 160 from East Godavari district so far, special commissioner, state disaster management authority, K Hymavathi told PTI here.

She said that 146 cyclone relief shelters have been opened in the coastal districts.

National Disaster Response Force has deployed 19 teams (each comprising 45 to 50 members) to undertake rescue and relief missions.

In addition, a large number of Army personnel have also been kept ready in Visakhapatnam.

In Srikakulam, sea conditions were rough this morning.

Met department has warned that extensive damage to ‘kutcha’ houses, uprooting of big trees and partial disruption of power and communication lines and minor disruption of rail and road traffic are expected.

“The government machinery is ready to face the cyclonic storm,” said deputy chief minister K E Krishna Murthy.

Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy too is ready to help with four ships on stand-by. These ships have been equipped with additional divers, doctors, inflatable rubber boats, integral helicopters and relief material including food, tentage, clothes, medicines, blankets etc, in quantities sufficient to sustain over 5,000 persons, Navy sources said.

Six aircraft are standing by at the Naval Air Station INS Dega to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, casualty evacuation and air drop of relief materials.

Additionally, 30 diving teams and four platoons with additional relief material are ready to be pressed into action at short notice, sources said.

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