Paradip Port on Friday shut all cargo operations, plants and machinery and put in place a contingency plan to meet any eventuality due to Cyclone Phailin which is expected to hit the eastern coast on Saturday.

Paradip is one of the 12 major ports in the country.

“We have stopped all cargo operations. We have set up control rooms and are ready with a contingency plan. We have cleared all vessels. People have been evacuated from low lying areas on war footing,” Paradip Port Trust, Odisha, chairman Sudhanshu Shekhara Mishra told PTI.

Mr. Mishra said all officers have been mobilised and all arrangements have been done including storage of sufficient stock of diesel and fuel for generators besides food and water including dry fruits stock to tackle any untoward situation.

“We have tied up with local NGOs for any emergency plans and are working in close coordination with the state administration,” he said adding, any decision to begin operations will be taken only after reviewing the situation after Saturday.

Another senior official of the port told PTI that all plants and operations have been shut down and people were evacuated from low lying areas and housed in shelter homes irrespective of whether they are port employees or not.

A senior Shipping Ministry official said that the Centre is keeping a close watch on the situation.

Paradip serves the eastern and central parts of the country and its hinterland extends to Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar.