With the district poised to bear the brunt of Nilam cyclone, all the 12 coastal mandals and the adjoining mandals have been put on high alert. Though there were no reports of heavy rain or high-velocity of winds, except from a couple of places, the sky turned cloudy. But the district administration is prepared, with the Met department predicting heavy downpour in Krishna, Guntur, Prakasam and Nellore districts.
According to Met officials, heavy rainfall recorded was in Tada, Sulurpet mandals on Tuesday afternoon, while moderate rains were witnessed in DV Sathram mandal. The depression was located about 450 km southeast of Chennai at 5.30 p.m. It is expected to hit the coast between Cuddalore and Nellore by Wednesday evening.
Rain, accompanied by high velocity winds of over 60 to 80 kmph was predicted in the next 24 hours and the sea is expected to be ferocious and turbulent, with waves raising up to two metres by night as the cyclone nears the coast.
Officials are identifying low-lying areas which face immediate threat and people are being evacuated, by force where necessary.
District collector B Sridhar, along with DRO Ramireddy, told a press conference here on Tuesday evening that Gudur division is likely to be hit hard by the cyclone and necessary measures have been taken to meet any eventuality. As many as 70 villages in 12 coastal mandals have been identified as vulnerable places, he said.
“We have put all the 12 coastal mandals and the adjoining mandals of Chittamuru and Chillakuru on high alert and deputed special officers there.
Revenue and police personnel have been told not to leave their stations. A 47-member Rapid Action Team (RAT) will arrive in the district by Wednesday and positioned at needy places, he said.
At Krishnapatnam port, danger signal number 6 has been hoisted and fishermen were directed not to venture into the sea. The South Central Railway too is ready to help the administration.
Some students and other visitors to Mypadu and Koduru beaches were sent back on Tuesday evening and the small shops at the beeches were ordered to close down. Finance minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy is personally monitoring the pre-disaster management measures.
“We have identified 100 low-lying areas and are gearing to move the people to safer places if the situation so warrants. People are reluctant to move out fearing thefts. We have asked local police to provide adequate security,” SP BV Ramanakumar said.