Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Residents living on the fringe of the 480 km long coastline in Odisha will now be better prepared for meeting any natural disaster like tsunami, cyclone and earthquake with the State government ready to install first-of-its-kind Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) in as many as six different coastal districts in three phases starting this month.

In the first phase the warning systems would be put into effect in Puri and Ganjam district by August 15 followed by installation in Jagatsinghpur and Balasore by the end of this month. In the third phase the systems would be set up in Bhadrak and Kendrapara district by the end of September, Pradipta Mohapatra, Managing Director of the Odisha State Disaster said after a review meeting.

The government aims to set up 122 alert towers at different locations like fish landing centres and coastal habitations across 22 blocks in six districts.  All of them would be synced up with a central control room at the state capital.

The towers will enable loud sirens which can be heard in localities up to a radius of 1.5 km. People would also be made aware of any eventuality with help of mass messaging through radio and mobile phones.

The ambitious project is being implemented with assistance from the World Bank at an estimated cost of Rs 80 crore.

The EWDS is laced up with ultra-modern technologies like Satellite-Based Mobile Data Voice Terminals (SBMDVT), Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), Mass Messaging System (MMS) and Universal Communication Interface (UCI) which allows efficient inter-operability among different communication technologies.

The system will greatly help reduce collateral damage by enhancing response of people who will get enough time to move to higher grounds in case of any emergency during natural disasters and also make the disaster management more efficient. Presently meteorological prediction has improved considerably well but this system comes in handier in case an alert is issued in the dead of night.