NEW DELHI: Describing the Hudhud cyclone on the east coast as ‘very severe’ in scientific terms, but certainly not a ‘super cyclone’, Dr Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, said here on Saturday that the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) attached with the Ministry of Earth Sciences under him is doing minute to minute monitoring and appealed to people not to get unduly alarmed because the concerned departments are already geared up for any eventuality while the IMD officials including its Director General are maintaining a direct regular contact with the administrations of the affected States including the Chief Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
Singh disclosed that the prediction of the cyclone had been made by his department about 5 to 6 days earlier which gave enough time to the administration to shift out people from the areas likely to be affected, while the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) got enough time to deploy as many as around 20 teams comprising of about 20 officials each to undertake rescue and relief operations if necessary.
When asked about the most likely districts to be affected, Singh mentioned the names of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari in Andhra Pradesh and two districts of Ganjam and Gajaptinagaram in Odisha. However, he said, Koraput, Malkajgiri, Raigarh and Kalahandi are some of the other districts of Odisha which are also likely to get affected.
Singh said that Hudhud is expected to intensify and peak to around 185 kms by tomorrow afternoon. This information was promptly conveyed to the concerned States, following which over 24,000 people have been shifted out from Visakhapatnam district alone, he added.
Singh said, this has been conveyed and the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha have already kept army and navy on standby and if required, diving teams with additional relief material have been kept in readiness for action at very short notice.
Singh hoped that with this kind of preparedness by all the related departments, everything will pass off with least harm but cautioned about heavy rains which would follow in the aftermath of the cyclone even in the neighbouring States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand.