Cyclone Fani: District collectors put on alert in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Monday asked the concerned district collectors to remain alert as cyclonic storm ‘Fani’, which is likely to trigger rainfall in the state from May 2.

The State Level Pre-Cyclone preparedness meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi in the secretariat conference hall on Monday.

Possibility of the cyclonic storm Fani hitting Odisha coast figured prominently in the meeting.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi appraised that Fani, currently over south west Bay of Bengal adjoining east Equatorial Indian Ocean would take shape  of  a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ by 30th April and further intensify to ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ by morning of 2nd May.

Sethi further appraised, “As per available readings, the cyclone is shifting its original track and coming closer to the coast”.

As per the latest IMD message, because of the cyclone there may be 40 to 50 km of wind per hour along with rainfall in coastal districts of Odisha from morning hours of 2nd May which may increase further. As of now, IMD has indicated the track of the cyclone up to 4th May, 2019.

 Reviewing the forecast messages from different national and international sources, Chief Secretary Padhi directed OSDMA to keep close watch over the situation and asked concerned departments to stay in all preparedness to deal with any possible strike of the cyclone.

Padhi directed to keep the cyclone and flood shelters in coastal areas ready with all necessary emergency equipments and materials.

The Health & Family Welfare and Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare departments were asked to keep stock of the essential medicines and food items in district head quarters. 

Panchayati Raj and Drinking Water Department was also asked to ensure supply of drinking water as per necessity in the marooned areas.

The Chief Secretary said, “The meeting was mainly about “the annual exercise for possible cyclones in current year. The forecast shows that the cyclone Fani will pass near the coast. The fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea during the period.”

Padhi further added, “in the meanwhile State has strengthened its preparedness for cyclone, flood and disasters. Number of ODRAF units has been increased to 20 from 10. All the 20 units are now fully functional with necessary equipments. Apart from that 12 units of NDRF team are also available in the State. State is all prepared to deal with any possible strike of Fani”.

Review show that there are 879 multipurpose cyclone shelters in the costal belt of the State. All the shelters are in readiness. The shelters can accommodate about one million persons during the cyclone and flood. All the shelters have been retrofitted with lightening arresting systems.

A total number of 252 power boats in working condition have been placed with different Collectors. The Fire stations have been equipped with required search and rescue equipments and First Responder Teams have been trained for rescue and relief operation. The mock drill for cyclone exercise has been scheduled to be conducted on 19th June in all districts.

The Director General of Police Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma along with Principal Secretaries, Secretaries, Commissioners and senior officers of the concerned departments participated in the discussions.