New Delhi/Vishakapatnam: The Election Commission of India on Friday lifted the poll code in Vishakapatnam, East Godavari, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts in wake of Cyclone Fani. The relaxation of the Election Code is to facilitate the rescue and rehabilitation of people in affected areas. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu had earlier written to the Election Commission requesting for the relaxation of the Code, which could possibly hinder the rehabilitation efforts.
Extremely severe cyclone storm Cyclone Fani, which hit Odisha coast near Puri on Friday morning, triggered heavy rains in parts of north coastal Andhra Pradesh, while gusty winds uprooted trees and electricity poles, officials said.
The cyclone moved close to north coastal Andhra before it made landfall in neighbouring Odisha. Under its impact, gusty winds with speed reaching up to 140 kmph lashed the coastal area of Srikakulam district. Srikakulam District Collector J Nivas said three houses were damaged due to the winds but there was no loss of life. About 20,000 people were shifted to 126 relief camps in Srikakulam district, where seven 'mandals' (blocks) are likely to be affected by the cyclone.
A red alert was sounded in the district with authorities taking preventive measures to avoid loss of life and minimise property damages. Nine National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams were deployed in the district.
According to Real Time Governance Society (RTGS) officials in Amaravati, Srikakulam's Kanchili 'mandal' received highest rainfall of 19 cm since Thursday. The heavy rains could also cause Vamsadhara and Nagavali rivers to overflow leading to floods in the region, officials said. Heavy downpours also lashed Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam, two other districts in the north coastal Andhra, since Thursday. The Indian Railways have cancelled about 100 trains between Visakhapatnam and Howrah on Friday and Saturday. Authorities have also cancelled 22 flights from Visakhapatnam Airport.
Also Read: Cyclone Fani To Make Landfall In Odisha