After the deep depression over north Andaman Sea intensified into a cyclonic storm on Wednesday, the Odisha Government sounded a high alert across the State and readied the administrative machinery to face the storm.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took stock of the situation at a high-level meeting in the State Secretariat, where secretaries of key departments were present.
In the wake of the advancing cyclonic storm, discussions were held in great detail on movement of essential commodities, cattle feed, flood control mechanisms, restoration of communication infrastructures and evacuation of people from areas likely to be affected.
Administration in 16 districts were kept on high alert while units of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force were started to be deployed at strategic locations.
The State Government appealed to people not to panic saying preparations were afoot to tackle the situation, as was done during the earlier Phailin cyclone.
“Leave of all government employees have been cancelled. Departments have been asked to make contingency plan keeping in mind the possible impacts of the disaster. Ganjam district is likely to be impacted by cyclonic storm. Skilled manpower is being mobilized to the districts to restore electricity,” the Chief Minister’s office said.
Besides, top officials of the State-run BSNL were consulted on how to restore telephone communications immediately after the cyclone hit the coast.
The Odisha Government admitted that artificial scarcity was being observed in the retail market following panic buying by people since Tuesday evening. Food supplies and consumer welfare department has been asked to take unscrupulous traders who indulged in hoarding to task. As many as 340 cyclone shelters were kept in readiness keeping in mind the advancing storm.
Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Bijoyshree Routray and Chief Secretary G. C. Pati were present in the meeting. Meanwhile, 12 units of the National Disaster Response Force were being mobilized to different coastal locations.