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Amid cyclones, Andhra Police lends hand to disaster management
In the recent heavy rains, floods and very severe cyclonic storm Nivar, Andhra Pradesh Police was on the forefront to save lives, feed stranded people and bring order amid the chaos, officers said.
The state witnessed torrential downpours in October and November powered by back-to-back cyclones, resulting in almost all the water bodies overflowing, causing much trouble to the common man and farmers alike.
Amidst these conditions, police personnel from constables to Superintendents of Police were working round the clock to help people.
"We had deployed almost 1,500 people from the district force for cyclone duties. We also got one platoon of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF). We were deployed continuously for almost 72 hours," Prakasam's Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal told IANS.
Amid incessant rain, policemen were deployed at all spots where the streams and water bodies were overflowing, at coastal villages, and to assist the district administration in evacuation.
"We assisted district administration in crowd control. At least 10 rescue operations were carried out in the district to save lives," said Kaushal.
The SP said a special control and command post, equipped with radio communication, was set up in case mobile phones stopped working.
"Even till today (Monday) morning, we had deployed police in some places, preventing vehicles going in certain roads which were still under water," he said.
Policemen also took boats from the Fisheries Department to reach out to stranded people and also engaged the local revenue officials to supply food.
In Nellore district, which bore the brunt of Nivar, along with Chittoor and Kadapa, three policemen carried a two-month-old baby to safety in Nellore town.
Policemen manned the Midatalavagu, a water body in spate near Kondapuram village to secure people and their movement.
They also monitored the rainwater inflows and outflows at Somasila dam where three gates were opened.
On National Highway 16 (NH 16), near Janardhan Reddy colony in Nellore, police supervised repairs to the road to prevent disruption of vehicle movement.
In similar fashion, police have also enabled the repair of a damaged bridge near Baghat Singh colony on NH 16 and also cleared many trees which were uprooted.
They also rescued two farmers from the middle of a raging water body after they were stuck there.
Not just the elements, police were also compelled to battle rumours.
On Monday, a Nellore district police official busted some rumours circulating claiming that the Kundaleru dam was breached.