Staff Reporter

Collectors asked to execute ‘evacuation plan’ immediately

SIDR likely to cross the Bengal-Bangladesh

coast around midnight

Tidal waves likely in coastal areas

BHUBANESWAR: The government on Thursday diverted its attention to areas close to the seashore as the four coastal districts – Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur – were likely to experience heavy rains and gales with a speed reaching 90-120 kmph when the storm crosses the coast.

The Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) directed the Collectors of the six coastal districts, including Puri and Ganjam, to execute evacuation plan immediately in view of forecast of heavy rains.

“The inhabitants within 10 km of Balasore, 9 km of Bhadrak, 8 km of Kendrapara, 7 km of Jagatsinghpur, 6 km of Puri and 5 km of Ganjam have to be evacuated,” SRC Nikunja K. Sundaray said in his advisory to all the district magistrates.

He also directed that adequate lighting arrangements be made at all cyclone shelters, gram panchayat godowns and different schools. “Free kitchen arrangements for the evacuated people must be made at once and the exercise must be completed before sunset,” Mr. Sundaray said.

Meanwhile, the Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre handed out ‘Red message’ saying that the Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (SIDR) lay centred at about 270 km southeast of Balasore over Bay of Bengal.

“The system is expected to intensify further and move in a northerly direction. The system, with maximum sustained wind speed of 200 kmph, is likely to cross West Bengal- Bangladesh by around midnight,” it said.

Under its influence, tidal waves of 5-6 metres high were likely in the coastal areas of Balasore and Bhadrak districts, the met office warned.

“Heavy to very heavy falls at a few places are likely over districts of north Orissa during the next 24 hours,” it further said. The met office also cautioned that extensive damage was expected to kutchha houses and partial disruption of power and communication lines might occur due to the strong wind.

Villagers evacuated

BERHAMPUR: The Ganjam administration evacuated coastal villagers following the threat of high tides. People of three low-laying streets of Gopalpur beach resort were evacuated. The other villagers evacuated in the district were from Venkatpur, Bijipur, Nua Bauxipalli and Nua Golabandha of Berhampur tehsil, Haripur of Chatrapur tehsil, Sonepur, Kirtipur, Markandi and Garampeta of Kanisi tehsil.

Extra watch was on Nua Golabandha village as it had a population of more than 2,000 persons and situation at a height of just seven feet from sea level.