Eighteen helicopters, 12 aircraft and two warships have been kept ready by the government for rescue and relief operations in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, which are facing the brunt of cyclone 'Phailin'.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the Indian Air Force choppers and aircraft and the two navy ships are placed in close proximity to the eastern coastline and would be deployed for rescue and relief operations.
"The cyclone has left Andaman and Nicobar Islands and will hit Odisha any time now. Three districts of Andhra Pradesh and eight districts in Odisha are likely to be affected," he told reporters in New Delhi.
Shinde said 5.5 lakh people in Odisha and one lakh people in Andhra Pradesh were evacuated to safer places, mostly in 500 cyclone shelters.
"Some people have showed resistance (against evacuation). Forces have been alerting them. The police have been trying to evacuate them," he said.
The home minister said the Army has sent more than 2,000 personnel to be deployed in relief and rescue operations.
Shinde said all central ministries were working in close tandem and offering all help to the two state governments for relief and rescue operations.
"The Union home secretary is in regular touch with state chief secretaries and are monitoring the situation," he said.
The home minister said 500 cyclone shelters were built after the 1999 super cyclone where arrangements have been made for food and other essential commodities.