Fourteen coastal mandals in Prakasam district have been put on high alert as the Indian Meteorological Department has predicted that Cyclone Phethai is likely to make landfall between Ongole and Prakasam on Monday.
Officials estimate that a total of 5.9 lakh people would be affected by the cyclone. The district officials have been deployed as special officers in Ongole, Tanguturu, Singarayakonda, Ulavapadu, Gudluru, Jarugumilli, Kothapatnam, NG Padu, Chinna Ganjam, Vetapalem, Chirala, Karemchedu, Kandukuru and SN Pada mandals.
The vulnerable mandals have been identified as Nagayalanka, Koduru, Bantumilli, Kruthivennu, Machilipatnam, Avanigadda, Mopidevi, Challapalli, Pedana and Guduru in Krishna district; Mogalthur, Kalla, Bhimavaram, Narsapuram, Yellamanchili, Achanta in West Godavari district; Thodangi, Kothapall, Tallavaru, Uppalaguptam, Allavaram, Mallkipuram in East Godavari district; and Nizampatnam, Bapatla, Repalle, Nagaram in Guntur.
Officials have set up control rooms with helpline numbers. For Machilipatnam: 08672 252486, Gudivada: 08674 243697, Nuzvid: 08656 2574454, Vijaywada: 0866 2574454, Guntur: 08648 257535, Nizampatnam: 08648 257535. The toll free number in Guntur is 1800-425-4099 and 1077 in Prakasam.
Police have already begun evacuating people living in huts and old buildings as a precautionary measure, besides preventing fishermen from venturing into the sea.
Prakasam district collector Vadarevu Vinaychand has issued orders directing officials to evacuate people from the low-lying areas, particularly pregnant women, children, women and persons with disabilities, to safer areas.
Speaking to New Indian Express, he said, "As the deep depression will intensify into cyclonic storm, people in low-lying areas are being evacuated to safer locations."
Bracing for the cyclone, officials have put 15 health and medical teams on alert for relief operations in case of medical emergency. Earthmovers have also been kept on standby to clear the uprooted trees in order to minimise the casualty. A total of 68 relief centres have been set up in Krishna district and 155 fire personnel are on standby. For water supply, the Rural Water Supply will set up three water tankers in each panchayat, according to officials. The electricity department has also instructed each official to be stationed every 10 km to immediately restore power.