Thirteen teams of the NDRF have been deployed in Odisha and five in Andhra Pradesh.
The coastal districts in north Andhra Pradesh and neighbouring Odisha are on alert in view of cyclone 'Gulab' that is set to make landfall around midnight. The cyclonic storm is expected to make landfall between Gopalpur (Odisha) and Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh with wind speeds of up to 95 kmph, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned.
Currently, cyclone 'Gulab', as named by Pakistan, is about 180 km east-southeast of Gopalpur and 240 km east of Kalingapatnam, the IMD said in its latest update on the cyclonic storm.
The cyclonic storm is moving at a speed of 18 kmph, the IMD said.
Thirteen teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Odisha and five in Andhra Pradesh, Satya Narayan Pradhan, Director General of the relief force, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Train services on the east coast have been cancelled, diverted or rescheduled as a precautionary measure.
The Odisha government has initiated evacuation drives in seven identified districts in the southern parts of the state. The maximum focus is on Ganjam and Gajapati districts, which are likely to be severely affected by the cyclonic storm.
At least 15 rescue teams have been deployed in Ganjam alone, an official said.
Cyclone 'Gulab' will be the second cyclonic storm to hit Odisha after 'Yaas', which made landfall barely four months ago. The intensity of cyclone 'Gulab' is likely to be similar to 'Titli', the storm that lashed the state in 2018.
With inputs from PTI and ANI