India Meteorological Department (IMD) chief LS Rathore on Friday said Hudhud has turned into a very severe cyclonic storm.
According to him, the cyclone Hudhud has strengthened and can now be classified as a “very severe cyclonic storm which is expected to bring heavy rain and gusting winds as it comes closer to the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha”.
It is likely to hit the coast around Visakhapatnam on the forenoon of Sunday.
Four naval ships and six aircraft of Indian Navy’s Eastern Naval Command are on standby for rescue and relief operations.
These ships are on standby to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake humanitarian aid and disaster relief (HADR), evacuation, logistic support including providing medical aid, said the Eastern Naval Command headquartered at Visakhapatnam.
These ships embarked with additional divers, doctors, inflatable rubber boats, integral helicopters and relief material including food, tents, clothes, medicines and blankets.
Six aircrafts are also on standby by at the Naval Air Station INS Dega to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, casualty evacuation and air drop of relief material to the stranded. Additionally, 30 diving teams and four platoons with additional relief material are ready to be pressed into action at short notice.
The Eastern Naval Command is monitoring the developments closely and is in constant communication with the Andhra Pradesh state administration to augment the rescue and relief operations.
Eleven teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have also been deployed in the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and another four teams are expected to reach the state by evening even as the government machinery in the coastal districts remained on high alert
About 250 personnel of the army have also been kept ready in Vizag to aid the administration in rescue and relief operations
Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the situation with Chief Secretary IYR Krishna Rao and asked the administration to be fully geared up to meet any eventuality
The exact landfall of the cyclone will become clear only by Saturday, the state government said in an official communication.
Heavy to very heavy rain is expected in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts from tomorrow evening with wind speed ranging between 50 and 60 km per hour.
Disaster Management OSD Arvind Kumar is camping in Vizag overseeing the preparedness of the administration in coastal districts.
Ministers Ganta Srinivasa Rao and K Atchan Naidu are also camping in Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts respectively and reviewing the situation.
In East Godavari, Deputy Chief Minister N Chinarajappa held a review with Collector Neetu Kumari Prasad.
As many as 26 revenue mandals are likely to be affected by the cyclone.
“We have taken steps to evacuate people from vulnerable areas to safety wherever required,” the Deputy CM said.
According to Deputy Chief Minister KE Krishna Murthy all collectors of coastal districts have been instructed to be vigilant and monitor the progress of “Hudhud” cyclone and take all precautionary measures.