Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government is in readiness to face any eventuality and accordingly rushed a large contingent of rescue and relief teams to Balasore district bordering West Bengal on Monday where the very severe cyclonic storm YAAS in likely to make landfall.
Considering the input given by the weather office, the State Government is preparing for possible landfall of the cyclone in Odisha, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena told Media.
A massive evacuation drive will be launched in all low-lying areas and vulnerable storm-surge pockets, following the IMD predicting a tidal surge of 2-4.5 meters during the landfall of Yaas, Mr.Jena said.
“The process of evacuation has already begun in the state and would be completed by Tuesday afternoon. The government is determined to ensure zero casualty in the cyclone,” he said.
Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagastinghpur districts have been identified as high-risk zones along with Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts.
Besides, the district authorities of Cuttack, Puri, Khura, Nayagarh and Dhenkanal have also been put on alert for any eventuality.
Mr.Jena said the state government has already deployed 22 teams of NDRF, 50 teams of ODRAF, 150 personnel of fire services and 35 tree-cutting teams in the vulnerable districts.
The state has also sought 30 additional NDRF teams, he said.
Different engineering departments have also been engaged in the vulnerable pockets, the official said.
As per the direction of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, five secretary-level senior IAS officers have been deployed in five highly vulnerable districts to supervise relief, rehabilitation and restoration work in the coastal area, he said.
While Hemant Sharma was sent to the Kendrapada district, Saswat Mishra will go to Jagatsinghpur, Vir Vikram Yadav to Bhadrak, Vishal Dev to Balasore and Suresh Vashishth to to Mayurbhanj.
Director-General of Police Abhay assigned five senior IPS officers in different districts. JN Pankaj was sent to Kendrapara, Amitabh Thakur to Jagatsinghpur, AN Sinha to Bhadrak, Diptesh Kumar Pattnayak to Balasore and Anirudh Kumar Singh was sent to Mayurbhanj.
All arrangements have been made to ensure that there is no disruption to manufacturing and transportation of medical oxygen to other states as well within the state, Jena said.
“There has been adequate buffer stock of medicine and oxygen in COVID hospitals and COVID Care Centres located in the cyclone-prone districts. The districts were also given standby power in case electric lines are snapped,” he said.
The most vulnerable Balasore district has an 84-kilometer-long coastline and is covered by 10 police stations, including three marine police stations, DGP Abhay said.
The 136 villages in 26 gram panchayat areas near the coast in the low-lying areas have been identified for evacuation, he said.
As many as 140 cyclone shelters and 1,102 alternative shelters have been readied to house the evacuated people in Balasore, the DGP said.
Twelve formations of ODRAF, apart from NDRF and Fire Service teams, as well as 15 platoons of local police have been deployed for cyclone operations in Balasore, he said.
The IMD forecast said that tidal waves of height 2-4 meters above astronomical tide are likely to inundate low-lying coastal areas of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts around the time of landfall.
The INCOIS-IMD joint bulletin said high waves in the range of 3.55.8 meters are in the forecast till 11 pm on Tuesday beyond 10 km off the coast of Odisha