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High alert in nine coastal districts in AP

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | March 29, 2005 02:34 IST

High alert has been sounded in the nine coastal districts in Andhra Pradesh in view of tsunami warning issued by various agencies after an undersea earthquake measuring 8.2 in the Richter scale hit off the coast of the Indonesian Island of Sumatra.

Revenue Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao said soon after the reports of the earthquake - which the US Geological Survey said measured 8.7- were received, the state government alerted district authorities district collectors and superintendents of police to take precautionary measures and evacuate people from low-lying areas on the coast.

Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy, who is camping in Delhi, spoke to senior ministers in Hyderabad and instructed district collectors to be prepared to face any eventuality. State chief secretary and the relief commissioner are monitoring the situation.

Local revenue officials rushed to villages on the coast to shift people to safer areas with the help of gram sarpanches (village heads) and gram sevaks (village servants).

The Coast Guard and the Indian Navy have also been requested to stand by to organise the rescue of fishermen caught in high tides.

However, till now, no reports have been received from coastal districts about any disturbance in the sea.

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