As cyclone Pthethai wreaked havoc through coastal Andhra Pradesh, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday conducted a review meeting at Real Time Governance centre at the state secretariat to take a stock of the situation. In a bid to take up the relief measures fast, the officials have been directed to gauge the probable damage based on the wind velocity in advance.
The deadly cyclone, which made landfall in East Godavari district this afternoon, claimed one life and injured several others, crumbling over hundred relief camps located across the coast. The deceased has been identified as R Durga Rao (28), a native of Vijayawada city. An immediate relief of Rs 50,000 was granted to the deceased's family. So far 20,000 people have been evacuated from the affected camps and the rescue operations are still on.
Besides, 26000 metric tonnes of agricultural production has been damaged, 300 cattle lost their lives, trees and electric poles uprooted, affecting the livelihood of farmers in villages. Tallarevu recorded the highest rainfall of 160 mm, according to officials. Train and air services were also disrupted because of the cyclone.
In the wake of this massive calamity, Deputy Chief Minister (Home) N China Rajappa is camping at Bhairavapalem village in East Godavari district to oversee relief and rescue operations.
According to the Real-Time Governance Centre (RTGS) at the state secretariat, post-landfall cyclone Phethai moved towards Kakinada, hitting the town with an incessant downpour, and is expected to roll towards Visakhapatnam district.
Keeping in mind the security measures, the Eastern Naval Command has dispatched Ships Jyoti and Shakti to Kakinada for the Rescue Operation. INS Shakti, medical teams, Humanitarian Assistance and Distress Relief stores along with a UH3H helicopter is being sailed out from Visakhapatnam to Kakinada.
#PethaiCyclone: Eastern Naval Command dispatches Ships Jyoti & Shakti to Kakinada for Cyclone Rescue Operation. INS Shakti with diving, medical teams & Humanitarian Assistance & Distress Relief stores along with a UH3H helicopter is being sailed out from Visakhapatnam to Kakinada pic.twitter.com/C8BWEmmD1d— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2018
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is also on high alert along with the Coast Guard. Sixteen teams of Andhra Pradesh Disaster Response and Fire Services are on standby at Rajamahendravaram, while another nine (of five members each) have been positioned in West Godavari district for road clearance.
The South-Central Railway cancelled and rescheduled several trains, while air traffic to and from the port city of Visakhapatnam was hit by turbulent weather conditions. Over 20 express and passenger trains were cancelled, SCR's chief public relations officer M Uma Shankar Kumar said.
An Indian Airlines flight on way to Visakhapatnam from Hyderabad was sent back, while an Indigo flight from New Delhi was diverted to Telangana capital, according to Visakhapatnam airport authority. A Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam SpiceJet flight was cancelled while several others of different airliners were rescheduled.
Educational institutions were closed in coastal districts as a precautionary measure.