Centre cites measures to allay fears

With cyclone “Hudhud” rushing towards the Andhra coast, the Centre on Saturday geared up to meet any eventualities in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha but said there was no need to get “unduly alarmist”.

Cabinet Secretary Ajith Seth chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) to take stock of the relief and rescue measures put in place in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha after a discussion with the chief secretaries of the two states.

“All the central agencies are fully geared up to provide necessary assistance to these states in case of any eventualities arising out of the landfall of the cyclone expected tomorrow. The Indian Air Force helicopters are also on standby to meet any emergent situation,” an official statement said.

Thirty-nine NDRF teams, comprising 1,680 rescuers and 199 inflatable rubber boats and other life-saving equipments, are deployed in various parts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

The Indian Army has also been deployed, an Army spokesperson said. Eight rescue teams and four Engineer Task Forces are stationed at Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh. Another eight rescue teams are at Gopalpur in Odisha.

“Additional resources have been kept on standby and will be mobilised based on the developing situation which is being monitored closely,” he added. As concerns mounted, Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh sought to allay fears. He described the cyclone as “very severe” but certainly not a “super cyclone”.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is doing minute to minute monitoring. Singh appealed to people not to get unduly alarmist because the departments concerned were prepared for any eventuality.

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