Coast gears up to face the double whammy of COVID-19, cyclone

The district administrations of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, which are fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, have geared up to face the double whammy in the form of a cyclone that was in the process of being formed in the Arabian Sea and likely to hit Kerala and Karnataka coasts on Saturday and Sunday.

With the India Meteorological Department predicting the low pressure formed in the southeast Arabian Sea and adjoining Lakshadweep area on Thursday could develop into a cyclone, the Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority has issued alerts to coastal districts to get ready to face the cyclone.

Cyclone Tauktae is expected to hit the Karnataka coast on Saturday with winds gusting at the speed of up to 80 kmph coupled with rain. The KSDMA has issued red alerts for Saturday and Sunday along Karnataka coast predicting heavy to very heavy rain.

Action plan

Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra told The Hindu he conducted an emergency videoconference with district officials on Thursday asking Revenue Department officials to alert all people residing in low-lying areas and make plans to shift them to safer locations. The Coast Guard had began shepherding fishing vessels to the shore even as the Coastal Security Police were on high alert, he said.

As the disaster was approaching amid COVID-19, the DC told officials to keep tabs on home isolation cases and suggested that it would be better to shift them to COVID Care Centres if their houses were in low-lying areas. This avoids mixing up of patients in case of floods. Relief centres would be opened if needed.

Dr. Rajendra said people residing in houses identified as prone to landslips should shift to their relatives’ houses or relief centres. Any ongoing roadworks that might get flooded should be barricaded. He also asked officials to check all power lines and poles while the local administration along with Forest Department should immediately attend to tree-falling cases.

Mangaluru Mayor Premanand Shetty has instructed officials concerned to speed up storm-water drain desilting work so as to avoid artificial flooding during very heavy rain.

Udupi Deputy Commissioner G. Jagadeesha issued similar instructions in the district and asked officials not to leave their headquarters during the period.

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Printable version | Jun 12, 2021 5:54:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/coast-gears-up-to-face-the-double-whammy-of-covid-19-cyclone/article34561305.ece

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