As cyclone 'Lehar' approaches eastern coastline, the Centre has assured all help to Andhra Pradesh and Odisha to deal with the situation and sent National Disaster Response Force personnel to help the local authorities.
Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami reviewed the situation arising out of the approaching cyclone with National Disaster Management Authority, India Meteorological Department and all authorities concerned and directed them to offer all possible assistance to the two state governments to face the calamity.
Goswami also telephoned Chief Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha assuring them full central assistance before and after the landfall of cyclone 'Lehar', official sources said. A contingent of NDRF personnel has been dispatched to Machillipatnam where Lehar's landfall is expected today.
Both Andhra Pradesh and Odisha government have rushed disaster management personnel to at least 15 districts to tackle flash floods in the event of heavy rain and took measures to protect standing crops.
IMD has said the "very severe cyclonic storm", with winds flowing up to 140-150 kmph, would intensify further and is likely to have strong winds with 150-160 kmph when it hits the Andhra Pradesh coast near Machillipatnam. Fishermen who are in the deep sea are advised to return to the coast immediately.
Sea condition will be rough to very rough today and tomorrow, the IMD said.