With the severe cyclonic storm ’Hudhud’ 610 km from the State’s coast, the Odisha government on Friday deployed rescue teams at vulnerable places and asked district collectors to begin evacuation of people, particularly in tribal dominated Malkangiri district.
“At least 25 teams, 15 of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 10 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), have been deployed at vulnerable areas keeping an eye on the cyclone and heavy rainfall,” Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P.K. Mohapatra told reporters.
Malkangiri is in focus this time, Mr. Mohapatra said, adding that the severe cyclonic storm was likely to pass over the district.
This would create a lot of rain in undivided Koraput district comprising Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada.
Other districts which would be hit by the cyclone were identified as Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Nayagarh, Gajapti and Ganjam.
Mr. Mohapatra said all the districts have been provided with satellite phones for emergency and constant vigil was being maintained on the rivers like Bansadhara, Rusikulya and Nagabali as heavy rain is expected in southern districts.
“We have asked the collectors that no one should remain inside ‘kutcha houses’ in Malkangiri district. All the people living in ‘kutcha’ houses need to be evacuated to safe place,” Mr. Mohapatra said, adding that this was being done keeping the State’s commitment of “zero casualty” as target.
The SRC also asked the district authorities to start free kitchen where the government undertakes evacuation drive. The districts are also told to stock adequate quantity of dry food, he said.