BHUBANESWAR: With extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani inching closer towards Odisha coast, the State Government on Tuesday issued cyclone alert to all districts asking the collectors to remain prepared for any exigency arising out of the situation.
Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi asked the district heads to keep the administrative machinery in full preparedness and take all required measures well in advance to reduce the impact of the cyclone. With heavy rains expected to lash coastal Odisha and adjoining districts on May 3 and 4, Padhi ordered evacuation of people from low lying areas in the coastal districts to safer places from May 2.
Districts such as Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Cuttack, Khurda, Kendrapara, Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Dhenkanal and Mayurbhanj are likely to be affected more, said Padhi and ordered officials concerned to send evacuation and rescue teams to these districts at the earliest.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bisnhupada Sethi said in view of the cyclone, the State Government has asked NDRF and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) units to remain prepared.
He said 20 ODRAF units, 335 fire services units and 18 NDRF units along with 300 rescue boats are on standby. A total 879 multipurpose cyclone shelters have also been kept ready. He also asked district collectors to identify vulnerable people, those living in kutcha houses or near the coast and low lying areas and shift them to the cyclone shelters. “Free cooked food, safe drinking water, health and sanitation and lighting facilities need to be ensured in all cyclone shelters,” Sethi said in his letter to the collectors and asked them to give special attention to women, children, old and physically challenged persons during evacuation. The collectors were also asked to evacuate livestock and domestic animals in vulnerable areas to safer places.
While the State Government has already cancelled leaves of its employees in the coastal and adjoining districts in view of the storm, the SRC asked the district administrations to ensure adequate deployment of manpower in district control rooms. He also asked the Health Department to ensure that mobile health and veterinary teams are kept ready for deployment in the affected areas.
With power supply likely to be affected during the period of cyclone, Secretary in the Energy Department Hemant Sharma asked his officials to be in readiness and all government offices in districts to ensure power back-up.