High alert as hurricane threat looms


The collector cancels the holidays of the civil servants, keeps the rescue teams ready and announces the closure of tourist places

The district administration is on high alert following a warning from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) of the severe low in the Bay of Bengal that could turn into a cyclonic storm.

Anticipating heavy rains, district collector A. Mallikarjuna asked officials of the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) to take precautionary measures in the hills and low areas, where there is a possibility of landslides and flooding.

Mr. Mallikarjuna, along with GVMC Commissioner G. Lakshmisha, inspected the Meghadrigedda reservoir and checked its water levels.

As of Thursday, the water level in the reservoir stood at 60 feet against its capacity of 61 feet. As a precaution, around 352 cusecs of water were released, the collector said.

To prevent the overflow of the drains (geddas), Mr. Lakshmisha asked the staff to clean the drains in Chavulamadhum, Gnanapuram and Sheela Nagar.

During Cyclone Gulab in September, many low-lying areas were flooded due to overflowing geddas. A woman had died when a perimeter wall collapsed in a hilltop area in Pendurthi.

Mr. Mallikarjuna, in a statement, said all tourist spots in Visakhapatnam would be closed from December 3-5. He asked tourists not to visit the place.

Anticipating heavy rains, he kept 66 NDRF teams, 55 SDRF teams and police on alert. He also called on the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard to keep rescue teams ready.

Mr. Mallikarjuna canceled the leave of all village officials at the district level and asked them to report to work.

He said special officers have been appointed in each mandal as well as in the constituency to monitor and coordinate rescue operations should any arise. He instructed civilian supply officers to keep stocks of essential items ready to an adequate extent.

Advice to people

Additional Deputy Police Commissioner (Traffic) Chap. Adinarayana, in a statement, called on the population not to use the road unless necessary as there was a possibility of flooding and the uprooting of trees.

The district administration has also set up control rooms at the collector’s office, the GVMC, and at government offices in Paderu, Anakapalle and several other locations.

The assistance numbers are as follows:

Collector’s office: 1800-425-00002 (free number); 0891-2590102 and 0891-2750089; GVMC: 1800-425-00009 (free call) and 0891-2869106; Electrical: 9440812492 and 7382299975; Medical: 8074088594; and Fire: 101 and 0891-2563582


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