Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: As many as 17 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 20 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams have been put on standby to deal with any eventuality arising out of Cyclone Yaas, informed Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena on Friday.

Briefing the media after a high-level review meeting with the State Chief Secretary regarding Odisha’s preparations for cyclone Yaas, Jena said, five teams of NDRF which went to Gujarat to conduct rescue operations during Cyclone Taukte have returned to Odisha.

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Apart from the NDRF and ODRAF teams, two aircrafts and two ships of the Indian Coast Guard have been patrolling the Bay of Bengal. Almost all the fishermen have returned to the shore. The remaining 39 will come back by tomorrow, informed Jena.

The Indian Navy is also on high alert for the impending cyclone. Moreover, 100 teams of firefighters are also kept ready.

Speaking about the challenge of dealing with both COVID19 and the cyclone, Jena said, “We are taking over more and more government buildings and schools to use them as cyclone shelters as we will need more space to accommodate all the evacuees keeping social distancing in mind.”

Jena further said that, “All the government machinery is on alert. Our preparations are going on full swing. Hopefully we will be able to overcome the problems easily.”