Odisha works on war footing to tackle cyclone Fani

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Bhubaneswar, May 1 (IANS) With the extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani inching closure towards the Odisha coast, the state government has intensified its precautionary measures to deal with any situation.

The government has assigned 11 IAS officers to supervise the relief, rehabilitation and restoration work in the districts that are likely to be affected by the cyclone.

Collectors in the all coastal and adjoining districts of Gajapati, Nayagarh, Khordha, Cuttack, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj have been advised to identify all vulnerable people living in kutcha houses or living near the coast or in low lying areas, said Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi.

They have been instructed to start the evacuation of all those living in such areas near the coast from Wednesday and complete the process by Thursday afternoon.

The vulnerable people will be shifted to multipurpose cyclone/flood shelters and other safe shelters.

Arrangements have already been made for free kitchen, safe drinking water, lighting, health and sanitation facilities at the shelters, he added.

879 Multi-purpose cyclone/ flood shelters are kept in readiness for sheltering people to be evacuated.

All 28 teams of NDRF, 20 ODRAF units and other Fire Services units are being dispatched to areas on a priority basis.

While the government has directed to close all educational institutions from Thursday till further order, it has cancelled leaves of various departments.

The government has cancelled leaves and holidays for all the officials in the Energy Department as part of preparedness in view of the possible damage in power supply and distribution during the cyclone.

All kinds of leaves of doctors and health staffs have been cancelled up to May 15. The Health Department has asked that all those who are on leave must report back to respective headquarters by Wednesday evening.

The SRC also advised the tourists to leave Puri by the evening of May 2 and non-essential travel must be cancelled during Friday, Saturday to the likely affected districts.

District Emergency Operation Centres and control rooms of other offices have been activated and functioning round the clock.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclonic storm ‘FANI’ in Bay of Bengal lay centred at 0530 hrs IST on May 1, about 680 km south-southwest of Puri and 430 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam.

It is very likely to intensify further and cross Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, to the south of Puri around May 3 afternoon with maximum sustained wind speed 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph.

–IANS

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