Fani: Odisha seeks helicopters, additional NDRF teams

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Bhubaneswar, April 30 (IANS) The Odisha government on Tuesday requested the Centre to provide two helicopters and additional NDRF teams for the evacuation of affected people as cyclone Fani is likely to hit the state’s coast on May 3.

“We have requested the Cabinet Secretary to position two helicopters for air-dropping of relief material. Besides, we have asked for additional NDRF teams to carry out the rescue operation,” said Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi.

He said that the impact of the cyclone will be maximum on Odisha.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that the cyclone will first hit Puri district after which it will move northwards towards Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Kendrapada, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj, he added.

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Informing that the evacuation process will begin from the morning of May 2, Padhi said people from low-lying areas will be evacuated to nearby cyclone shelters, schools and other safe places.

As many as 879 cyclone shelters are kept ready. Besides, 20 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) units, and 335 fire services units are kept ready.

A total of 28 NDRF teams including extra 10 teams are rushing from outside Odisha to assist during the cyclone. They will be in propositioning locations across coastal districts, said an official.

Bhubaneswar met centre Director H.R. Biswas informed that the speed of the cyclone at the time of landfall will be 175-185 km per hour.

He said the cyclone will move along the coast of Odisha and go to West Bengal.

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According to the IMD, heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected to lash the south coastal districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda and Puri on May 2.

–IANS

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