As the extremely severe cyclone Amphan inches closer, the Odisha Government has rolled up its sleeves to take all precautionary measures, including the evacuation of people to meet the zero causality target set by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued orange alert for West Bengal and north Odisha coasts as Super Cyclone Amphan approaches fast.
While alert has been sounded for 12 districts of Odisha, the impact is expected to be higher in the five north coastal districts. “Bhadrak and Balasore districts will be more affected because they are closer to the expected landfall point in the Sundarbans,” the Met department has said. Cyclone Amphan is set to make landfall during the afternoon or evening May 20 with maximum sustained wind speed of 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph, the IMD said.
According to the officials of IMD, currently the storm is over the Westcentral Bay of Bengal and is moving north-northeastwards with a speed of 17 kmph.
It is very likely to move north-northeastwards across the northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) close to Sundarbans during the afternoon to evening hours of May 20.
People are being brought to the nearest cyclone shelters & all arrangements regarding food & safe stay along with #Social_Distancing is being facilitated by Dist. Administration pic.twitter.com/25IhGe2en7
— PIB in Odisha #StayHome #StaySafe (@PIBBhubaneswar) May 19, 2020
An orange alert has been sounded for coastal areas of Odisha. “The approaching super cyclonic storm Amphan’s impact on Odisha will likely be noticeable from Tuesday night onwards and the alert will be active for the next 24 hours,” Odisha Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena said.
Pradeep Kumar Jena said that all government departments are working in close coordination to complete the entire evacuation process by Tuesday evening. Fifteen teams each of ODRAF and NDRF have been deployed in to-be affected areas and an additional ODRAF team will soon be sent to Jagatsinghpur district.
In addition, 217 teams of fire service, 75 teams of forest officials (OFDC) have also been mobilised. Mobile repairing units have also been kept ready in case any repair work will be necessary.
Pradeep Kumar Jena also said that the water resource department has kept 227 DG sets ready, 805 vehicles loaded with PVC tanks, 74 water tankers and 2690 overhead tanks filled with water have been readied in the districts’ preparedness for the advancing cyclone.
Over 15,000 people were evacuated till last night, informed Jena, who requested people not to go out of their houses during the cyclone to avoid any mishap.
Speaking to India Today TV, Balasore Collector K Sudarshan Chakraborty stressed that focus is given on maintaining of social distancing and wearing of masks during the evacuation process. “We will complete the evacuation by this evening,” K Sudarshan Chakraborty said.
Under the cyclone’s influence, heavy to very heavy rain is likely to lash five districts Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur and Mayurbhanj of Odisha. Some places in Cuttack, Khurda and Puri are also likely to experience heavy rain on Tuesday. Squally wind speed reached 55 to 65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph is expected along and off Odisha coast From Tuesday morning onwards.