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Odisha puts 14 districts on cyclone alert

The Odisha Government on Thursday put 14 districts on high alert in the wake of cyclonic storm, which is likely to form over Bay of Bengal and hit southern Odisha and northern Andhra Pradesh districts.

All these 14 out of 30 districts are close to coast and are generally affected by cyclones originating from Bay of Bengal.

Keeping the cyclone forecasts by India Meteorological Department and other agencies in mind, the State Government has already finalised its deployment plan and directed prepositioning of 225 disaster response teams drawn from different units of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, National Disaster Response Force and Odisha fire services personnel.

Addressing a press conference here, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P.K. Jena said the maximum wind speed to be generated by cyclone would remain between 90 and 100 kmph and coastal districts would start receiving rain from midnight of December 3.

“Heavy to extremely heavy rain is likely to take place in one or two places in districts like Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri and Khordha on December 4. The intensity of rain would come down by December 5,” he said.

The SRC informed that all fishermen, who had sailed to mid-sea returned to their respective homes and there was no report of any fishermen stranded in the mid-sea. “Efforts are being made to bring fishermen fishing inside Chilika Lake to shore by Friday morning,” he said.

Advisories issued

Advisories have been issued for farmers to harvest paddy crop and store it in safe place. Farmers have also been asked to create water discharge channels from their respective fields. Apart from 14 districts, Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar and Kandhamal district administrations have also issued alert for farmers.

“When a clear picture about cyclone is available to us by December 3, we will further fine-tune our response. The Government is in constant touch with IMD authorities. When the atmospheric system will intensify into a depression on Friday, the path the cyclone may take or the probability of re-curve towards West Bengal or Bangladesh would be known,” said the SRC.

Mr. Jena said collectors have been asked to speed up evacuation after cyclone’s path becomes certain.

“Priority will be given to pregnant women who are expected to give birth by December 10. They will be shifted to hospital or nearest concrete structures. During last cyclone, Yaas, about 700 women had given birth to babies,” he pointed out.

The SRC laid emphasis on compliance of COVID-19 protocols. “It will be ensured that shelter houses are not congested. District administrations have been asked to keep schools open so that people can walk into and stay safe.”

Though the power infrastructure is not likely to be damaged with this wind speed, teams have been kept ready for restoration works. Similarly, Telecommunication Department has been alerted.

East Coast Railway has already cancelled 88 trains on December 3 and 4 ahead of the possible cyclonic storming hitting the coast.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 12:18:24 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/odisha-puts-14-districts-on-cyclone-alert/article37815201.ece

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