BHUBANESWAR: As cyclone ‘Vayu’ advances towards Gujarat coast and is expected to make landfall on Thursday afternoon, Odisha government on Wednesday offered help to the western state which has launched a mass evacuation to shift more than three lakh people from low-lying areas.
Gujarat Chief Secretary Jagdip Narayan Singh called up his Odisha counterpart Aditya Prasad Padhi and sought his advice on how to tackle the cyclonic storm and evacuate such a large number of people within a short time.
“Gujarat Chief Secretary had called me up and discussed measures to be taken ahead of the landfall. We have offered all kinds of help to Gujarat,” Padhi told media persons.
The Gujarat Chief Secretary said they will seek further help, if required, keeping in view the situation, Padhi added.
Gujarat government is seeking help from Odisha as the latter had successfully handled natural calamities such as cyclone ‘Fani’ last month and cyclone ‘Titli’ last year.
In both the cyclonic storms, the State had successfully reduced human casualties and losses due to proper handling of the situation.
Odisha government had created a record by evacuating about 14 lakh people to safe places ahead of the landfall of cyclone Fani near Puri.
This is for the first time that any state is seeking advice of Odisha Government on handling a situation arising out of a cyclonic storm.
Odisha government had shared its best disaster management practices with all other States at the Special Relief Commissioners’ annual meeting held in New Delhi last year.
Meanwhile, cyclone ‘Vayu’ has turned into a “very severe cyclonic storm” and is likely to cause gusty winds to blow at a speed of 145 kmph to 170 kmph by Thursday afternoon, according to IMD.