Cyclone in Odisha: Govt asks officials to be ready for any eventuality

Bhubaneswar: With the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting cyclonic storm tonight, the Odisha government on Thursday asked all departments to be on alert to meet any eventuality.

The deep depression over west central Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and cross south Odisha- north Andhra Pradesh coasts between Kalingapatna & Puri, close to Gopalpur around mid-night of today.

The cyclonic storm is likely to affect Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurdha, Nayagarh and Puri districts of Odisha directly and will also cause heavy rainfall in most of the districts of Odisha.

Storm Surge of about 0.5 meters above astronomical tide is likely to inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Puri and Khordha districts, said a statement from Special Relief Commissioner.

IMD has also predicted damage to the thatched hut, roads, crops and minor damage to power and communication lines in Gajapati, Ganjam, Khordha, Nayagarh & Puri districts at the time of landfall.

Local cautionary Signal Number LC-III to be kept hoisted at all ports of Odisha.

Instructions have been issued from the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) to all Collectors to be in readiness to meet any eventuality.

Collectors of districts likely to be affected by the cyclonic storm have been asked to assess the situation and take immediate steps to evacuate the people from low lying areas and those living in under kutcha hut/ house in vulnerable condition, to safe shelters and to organise all basic needs including cooked food, safe drinking water and ensure health & hygiene.

It has also been instructed to keep Satellite phones ready for fail-proof communication. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea during next 24 hours.

SRC’s power boats pre-positioned in the districts are ready with the crew for relief activity. Multipurpose Flood/ Cyclone shelters are kept in readiness with all necessary arrangements for sheltering the people.

Taking the situation into account, NDRF and ODRAF have been deployed in different districts.

One NDRF team each has been deployed in Kalahandi, Rayagada, Gajapati, Puri, Nayagarh and Kandhamal districts with a total 17 nos. of boats and other emergency equipment.

One ODRAF team each has been deployed in Ganjam, Koraput, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri Districts. Remaining ODRAF units are in readiness for deployment on short notice. Fire Service Units in the respective districts are deployed for search and rescue work wherever required.

The Chief Secretary reviewed the situation with Secretaries of key departments and head of the response forces.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also reviewed the situation in a high-level meeting today.

All departments have been instructed to be in readiness and make the necessary arrangements to meet the situation.

Engineering Departments have made prior arrangements for quick restoration of road communications if damaged or disrupted. Similarly, the Energy Department has made necessary prior arrangements for quick restoration of power supply, where damaged.

Alternative power arrangements have been made for the lifeline institutions like hospitals, water supply systems to ensure uninterrupted services.

The holiday of all Government Offices on 21st September has been cancelled in Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurdha, Nayagarh and Puri districts. Collectors of other districts have been asked to take decision for cancelling the holiday after due assessment of the situation at their end.