Exercise caution and don’t panic, govt. urges people

Crisis management: Puducherry District Collector Purva Garg chairing a review meeting on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: S_S_KUMAR

The district administration on Tuesday urged the public to exercise caution but not panic as a broad range of emergency measures were in place in the wake of Cyclone Nivar, which is expected to make landfall in the Puducherry-Karaikal region on Wednesday.

At a press conference, District Collector Purva Garg said all the departments, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams and the police had made arrangements and were prepared for relief operations.

“People are advised to stay indoors or in safe shelters, wherever there are low-lying areas. Relief centres have been set up and food packets will be arranged for those affected by the cyclone,” Ms. Garg said.

Pruning of trees had been undertaken to protect electricity cables, and measures were in place to pump out water from waterlogged residential areas.

Apart from COVID-19 management, health teams will take care of cyclone-related trauma and vector-borne diseases, the Collector said.

Pratiksha Godara, Senior Superintendent of Police asked the public to stay indoors and avoid venturing out. “During the previous cyclones, it was noticed that people go to the beach out of curiosity. This should be avoided at all costs. No one should be in and around the beach during the cyclone,” she added.

“We request the public to understand that they do not have to panic, but they should be cognisant of the gravity of the situation and take the necessary precautions,” Ms. Godara said.

Pankaj Kumar Jha, Special Secretary, Relief and Rehabilitation, said the impact of the cyclone, once it makes landfall, was likely to last at least seven to eight hours. He urged the public to take safety precautions as wind speeds were expected to be in the range of 120-130 kmph and touching up to 150-155 kmph.

Anyone living in ramshackle buildings in Puducherry or Karaikal were advised to go to the nearest safe structure or seek assistance to be relocated to a relief centre.

Apart from the NDRF teams that are already positioned, the administration has also requested a column from the Army to assist in road clearance, emergency evacuation or other relief operations, he added.

The Public Works, Revenue and Fire Service Departments have been instructed to remove hoardings and other loosely-strung objects. The public should take care to ensure that loose objects in their homes were not blown away in the wind, which could endanger themselves or others.

Kapil Verman, Second-in-Command, NDRF 04 Battalion, and T. Sudhakar, Deputy Collector (North), also stressed the need for the public to remain safe during the cyclone.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 1:42:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/exercise-caution-and-dont-panic-govt-urges-people/article33172871.ece

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