ONGOLE: Weathermen have predicted that cyclone Phethai is likely to make landfall between Ongole in Prakasam and Kakinada in East Godavari. As such, the district officials are now on tenterhooks.
All the 14 coastal mandals in the Prakasam district have been put on the high alert. District-level officials have been deployed to Ongole, Tanguturu, Singarayakonda, Ulavapadu, Gudluru, Jarugumilli, Kothapatnam, NG Padu, Chinna Ganjam, Vetapalem, Chirala, Karamchedu, Kandukur and SN Padu mandals as special officers.
Along with revenue officials, the police department has dispatched special teams to coastal villages to prevent fishermen from venturing out into the sea and evacuate residents to safer locations.
District Superintendent of Police B Satya Yesu Babu said, “As a precautionary measure, we plan to evacuate people living in huts and old buildings in coastal villages.”
After reviewing the situation with officials from different departments, District Collector V Vinay Chand said, “As the deep depression will intensify into a cyclonic storm, people in low-lying areas are being evacuated to safer locations.”
He directed the officials to shift pregnant women, children, elders and persons with disabilities to safer areas. Officials were also asked to identify places for setting up relief camps along with mobilising resources at cyclone shelters.
Community kitchens are being organised apart from arranging drinking water facility at relief centres.
Earthmovers and power saws for removal of uprooted trees are also kept on standby.Health and medical teams have geared up to render relief measures; special teams are engaged to maintain sanitation.
Meanwhile, fishermen of Kothapatnam, who were returning to the shore, found wreckages of a large boat washed away.However, no bodies were found.