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After being hit by summer cyclones for three consecutive years in 2019, 2020 and 2021, the Odisha government on Wednesday geared up for such an eventuality in the coming days, though the IMD forecast no possibility of any low-pressure formation in the Bay of Bengal in a fortnight.
The government decided to open a round-the-clock control room across the districts from May 1 for monitoring the situation, a senior official said.
The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary P K Jena where the state government's preparedness was reviewed.
Senior officers of several government departments, the Director General of Police, Director General of Fire Service, the Special Relief Commissioner, and a senior official of IMD Bhubaneswar Centre were among others who attended the meeting.
Jena asked line departments like revenue and disaster management, rural development, housing and urban development, health, home and panchayati raj and drinking water to be prepared for the possible summer cyclone.
Discussions were held on information from Doppler radars installed at Paradeep and Gopalpur. These two radars will help track any summer cyclone formed over the Bay of Bengal.
While Odisha encountered cyclone Fani in 2019, cyclones Amphan and Yaas hit the state in 2020 and 2021 respectively. However, there was no such cyclone in 2022.
As the telecom service providers have introduced several measures to face cyclones, the state government asked them to take steps to provide uninterrupted service to people and send SMS/voice messages regarding updates on any possible cyclone this summer.
IMD officials and senior weather scientist US Dash, who attended the meeting, said that steps have been taken for broadcasting weather bulletins and cyclone updates through radio and television channels.
He said the state government was informed that there was no possibility of any low-pressure formation in the Bay of Bengal in the next 15 days and therefore no possibility of a summer cyclone now.
"Cyclone mock drills will be held in each district on June 18 and 19 except Puri where a festival will be held on June 20," an official said.
The officials of 317 fire stations in the state have been kept ready to face any eventuality.
At least 17 teams of NDRF can be deployed for rescue and rehabilitation work in case of any cyclone hitting Odisha this summer, a statement issued by the chief secretary's office said.
The state has altogether 879 multipurpose cyclone/flood centres to provide temporary shelters to people. The Odisha State Disaster Management Authority has been asked to keep all equipment ready for rescue and rehabilitation work, it said.
While the Water Resources department has been told to introduce the necessary measures to manage flood-like situations during the cyclone.
The Health and Family Welfare department will store adequate medicines, anti-venom injections and other essential items at the district headquarters hospitals. The department will also take prompt steps to relocate pregnant women to nearby hospitals, the statement said.
The Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare department has been asked to store adequate amounts of dry food and other essential commodities.