Odisha launches massive evacuation as cyclone Amphan nears

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday spoke to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and discussed about Odisha’s preparedness to tackle the situation.

Published: 19th May 2020 02:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th May 2020 02:17 PM   |  A+A-

Cyclone Amphan

Satellite view of cyclone Amphan

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Government has launched a massive evacuation drive for cyclone Amphan, which has intensified into a super cyclonic storm. Six coastal and north Odisha districts have been put on high alert to deal with any eventuality.

The super cyclonic storm over Westcentral Bay of Bengal moved north-north eastwards with a speed of 15 kilometers per hour during the last six hours and lay centred about 480 kilometers south of Paradip.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday spoke to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and discussed about Odisha’s preparedness to tackle the situation. Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said that four north and coastal districts of the state, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jagatsinghpur and Mayurbhanj and parts of Jajpur are likely to receive heavy rain from Wednesday morning due to the impact of the cyclone.

The SRC said that evacuation of people from vulnerable and low lying areas of the coastal districts have already started and will be completed by Tuesday evening. The state government had readied for evacuation of nearly 12 lakh people from the low lying and vulnerable areas of coastal districts. Official
sources said that administration of coastal districts are persuading people to leave for safer places in view of the cyclone.

Senior IAS officer Madhu Sudan Padhi, who has been deputed to Balasore district to supervise the relief and rescue operations, said focus was on to evacuate people from Bhograi, Baliapal, Remuna, Bahanga and Soro areas in the district. Chandbali and Basudevpur blocks have been put on high alert. Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed to respond to any emergency, said Bhadrak Collector Gyana Das.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) said damage is expected in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jajpur, and Mayurbhanj districts under the influence of super cyclonic storm Amphan, which will likely weaken into extremely severe cyclone within six hours.

The national forecaster has predicted total destruction of thatched houses, extensive damage to kutcha houses, bending or uprooting of power and communication poles, and widespread damage to standing crops in these districts.

Met Office has issued orange warning for heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places in Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, and Mayurbhanj districts and isolated heavy rainfall in Cuttack, Khurda, and Puri districts on Tuesday.

Light to moderate rainfall or thundershower will likely occur at most places in coastal Odisha and at few places in the remaining districts of the State during the same period.

"Rainfall activity and winds will increase in the State between 3 am and 10 am on Wednesday," said Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre Scientist, Umasankar Das. Winds gusting up to 125 km/hr will likely prevail along and off north Odisha coast - Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts on Wednesday morning.

While Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, and Jajpur districts will experience winds gusting up to 75 km/hr during the period. In a special bulletin IMD, Odisha, said that Amphan will likely move north-northeastwards across north-west Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal -Bangladesh coasts between Digha and Hatiya Island (Bangladesh) close to Sundarbans on Wednesday afternoon or evening as a very severe cyclonic storm with winds gusting up to 180 km/hr.

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