Bhubaneswar: ACS Disaster Management and Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Jena said that though the India Meteorological Department (IMD) yesterday predicted the formation of a possible Cyclonic Storm over the northern Bay of Bengal by 25 May, which may move northwestwards and touch the coastal areas around May 26, the exact location of landfall is yet to be ascertained.
Mr.Jena said that while media houses are reporting predictions of various agencies from across the world, the people of Odisha should rely on the prediction of IMD which has proved to be accurate.
He informed that under the instruction of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, preparations to combat the cyclone commenced from Wednesday. Discussions were held with authorities of NDRF, ODRAF and Directorate General of Fire Service, Home Guards & Civil Defence, Odisha. A deployment plan will be prepared after assessment of their manpower and equipment availability.
Similarly, discussions were held with Collectors, SPs, Fire Officers, and Emergency Officers of the 10 coastal districts of Odisha. They have been instructed to be prepared for the cyclonic storm while adhering to the Covid-19 protocols, he added.
A preparatory meeting with the Secretaries of all concerned Departments was held today over the required deployment of manpower and machinery to ensure the supply of drinking water, power supply, communication facilities, etc. in the aftermath of the cyclone.
Awareness campaigns have been started for the safety of fishermen who depend on the sea for their livelihood. A list of the fishermen who are already in the sea is being prepared to ensure that they are brought back to safety before May 22.
While other departments have also started preparations to combat any untoward situation, the SRC requested media outlets to be careful and responsible in reporting the news related to the cyclone to avoid panic response from citizens which may lead to hoarding and black marketing of essentials.
He further said that it is still a matter of doubt if the present system will intensify into a cyclonic storm or not. The citizens will be informed about the updates as per the information received from the IMD.
Meanwhile, the Jagatsinghpur district administration has started preparing for the possible cyclonic storm.
The administration create awareness through loudspeaker in the sensitive Paradip Fishing Harbour, Chaumuhani fishing base and other coastal areas in Paradip and the district to prevent entry fishermen into the sea during the period mentioned by the IMD. Similarly, efforts will also be taken to ensure safe return of fishermen still in deep sea.
Besides, preparatory meeting on the safety of people is running in the district headquarters from Wednesday. All the district officials are instructed to be in high alert in between these days,said Jagatsinghpur district collector Sangram Keshari Mohapatra.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), a low-pressure area is likely to form over North Andaman Sea and adjoining east-central Bay of Bengal around May 22,2021. The depression will likely intensify into a cyclone and move north westwards, entering West Bengal and Odisha on May 26. The state fishery department asked fishermen who are out in the sea to return to safer places by May 23.
The State Government informed district officials in Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara are on high alert.