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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Jajpur/Kendrapara: Ahead of the impending cyclone Yaas which is likely to hit Odisha coast later next week, administration in the coastal Odisha districts of Jajpur and Kendrapara held preparatory meetings to deal with the situation, on Friday.

The Additional Collector of Jajpur, Akshay Kumar Mallick said, “All concerned departments including power and telecom have been put on alert. We will launch awareness drive through public address system. We have already prepared a plan to evacuate people from low lying areas.”

It is pertinent to mention here that the prevailing pandemic situation including the lockdown has posed a major challenge for the authorities to evacuate and provide shelter to people during the cyclone.

“We have made evacuation and sheltering plans keeping the COVID situation in mind. We will take over government buildings and schools to use as cyclone shelters besides the existing cyclone shelters,” Mallick added.

A similar preparatory meeting was held in Kendrapara district on Friday as well. Following an order from the District Collector, the BDO of Aul chaired a meeting that included, Samiti members and Sarpanch from 34 Gram Panchayats.

The discussion focussed on shifting, rehabilitating pregnant women and differently-abled perons. Detailed brainstorming was held for quick restoration work post cyclone.

Sambit Satapathy, an official of the Emergency Department said, “We have identified 64 villages that are situated with 1.5 kms from the sea shore. Nine Rapid response Teams have been formed. Adequate manpower to restore power and communication have been deployed.”

He added, “We have 117 cyclone shelters in the district. Apart from that, we will use school buildings to rehabilitate people as we need more space to implement COVID norms.”

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard is undertaking awareness drives at Paradip. The fishermen are being warned to not venture into deep sea during this time. The cargo ships waiting to enter the port have been directed to leave the anchorage points and move to safer places.

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