Ramakanta Biswas

Even though the India Meteorological Department (IMD) ruled out possibilities of any landfall by the impending cyclonic storm, the Odisha government has made arrangements for evacuation of about 7.5 lakh people without lowering any preparedness.

Briefing the media, State Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena said, arrangements have been made to evacuate altogether 7.5 lakh people in 18 districts if any such emergency situation arises out of the impending cyclonic storm. 

“There are 862 permanent cyclone centres in 18 districts. These centres can accommodate 1.5 to 1.6 lakh people with adherence to Covid-19 rules. Likewise, 6,661 buildings have been identified as temporary centres which can house about 6 lakh people. Thus, we have arrangements to evacuate 7.5 lakh people,” Jena said.  

“Though the prediction by the IMD so far has given some kind of relief, we have not lowered our preparedness,” Jena added.

Speaking on the deployment of response forces, Jena said relief personnel have been kept in readiness and decision on their deployment will be taken after a clear picture emerges.    

“As the sea condition will be rough, we have directed fishermen not to venture into sea along Odisha coast after May 8. Those are in the sea have been asked to come to shore by May 8,” Jena said. 

“The fisheries and animal resources department is collecting list of fishermen. While some fishermen have started returning, we are hopeful to bring them back by tomorrow afternoon. We have also requested the navy and coast guards to help us in the process,” Jena added.   

The SRC said that the agriculture department has issued advisory for farmers on Friday and field workers and officers are making public announcement and advising farmers to take necessary measures to save their crops during the rain.