Visakhapatnam: As the cyclonic storm 'Gulab' is expected to make landfall between north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coast in the next 12 hours, the Indian Navy is gearing up for rescue and relief operations.

Eastern Naval Command and Naval officers-in-charge of the Odisha area have carried out preparatory activities to combat the effects of the cyclone and are in constant liaison with the state administrations to render assistance as required.

As part of the preparedness, flood relief teams and diving teams are positioned at Odisha and are ready at Visakhapatnam to render immediate assistance. Two Naval ships are at sea with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) material and medical teams to render assistance in the most affected areas.

Naval aircraft are kept ready at naval air stations, INS Dega at Visakhapatnam and INS Rajali near Chennai, to undertake an aerial survey of the affected areas, casualty evacuation, and airdrop of relief material.

Vizag ready to face any emergency

Visakhapatnam is geared up to face any emergency in view of the cyclonic storm. The administration has readied NDRF teams, rescue teams of Indian Coast Guard (ICG), Indian Navy, and SDRF as a precautionary measure, according to officials.

Besides appointing constituency- and mandal-level special officers to monitor the situation and taking precautionary measures, district collector Dr. A. Mallikarjuna has cancelled the leaves of all government employees.

The collector has asked civil supplies officials to ensure that stocks of oils and gas are available. Instructions have been given to panchayat raj officials to provide drinking water to households despite the storm without any interruption, Dr. Mallikarjuna told reporters here. He said 24-hour control rooms have been set up at various places, including at the collectorate.

Dr. Mallikarjuna has asked officials to visit the mandals allotted to them and prepare an action plan as a precautionary measure.

Meanwhile, Greater Vizag Municipal commissioner G. Srijana appealed to the people to stay alert in the wake of heavy rains. She cautioned them to stay away from drains that are likely to overflow. The police also interacted with the fishermen and warned them about the cyclone.

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