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High alert in Cuddalore for cyclone

Special Correspondent
The Hindu
Tuesday, Dec 20, 2005

Officials geared up to shift people to safety at half-an-hour notice District officials geared up to shift people to safety

CUDDALORE: With cyclone named "Mala" brewing in the Bay of Bengal, Cuddalore district is readying itself for the encounter. The official machinery has been geared up in such a way that within half-an-hour of sounding the alert, it can evacuate the people from vulnerable areas to safer places.

A grim situation prevails in the district with cyclones repeatedly posing a threat to at short intervals. The recent flood has caused extensive damage to crops and property, and the people are yet to recover from the shock. The christening of the cyclones, a new development, has its own sting and satirical undertones.

The people remain baffled about the choice of names given to the cyclones as with their behaviour. It is learnt that the term "Mala" signifies "Garland" that in turn means that the impending cyclone might encompass a vast area at the time of landfall.

Cyclone shelters

District Collector Gagandeep Singh Bedi told The Hindu on Monday that the official machinery was on full alert and it could safely shift the people at half-an-hour notice.

All the 21 cyclone shelters along the coastline have been kept ready. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea, and securely tie the boats inland and keep the nets indoors.

Salespersons of fair price shops in the vulnerable areas were available on location from Saturday along with Village Administrative Officers to be ready for any eventuality.

Block engineers have been posted at vantage points at Killai, Parangipettai and T.S. Pettai to enable them to get into action, as and when warranted.

Fire Service and Rescue personnel have been put on alert.

Official teams have been assigned their areas of operation under the guidance of District Revenue Officer (Relief and Rehabilitation) M.S. Shanmugham, Project Officer (DRDA) D. Jagannathan and Chidambaram Sub-Collector Arun Roy.

The water level in the Veeranam tank was kept at 41.5 ft., Mr. Bedi said.

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