Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Speaking on the preparedness of very severe cyclonic storm Bulbul, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said the government is fully prepared for it.

"We are fully prepared for the cyclone. We are expecting some heavy rains in some of the coastal districts. But, the cyclone will be moving towards Bangladesh," said the Chief Minister in New Delhi. He is in the national capital to review some pending projects with the Centre.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena said the district administration is well-prepared as some of the coastal districts have started receiving light rain since Friday evening.

He said the government has also deployed National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire service personnel in nine districts as a precautionary measure.

"The collectors have also been authorised for evacuation of people in low lying areas, if required. The people will be provided food at the shelter as per the relief code," said Jena.

The NDRF has stationed a total of 34 teams in West Bengal and Odisha in view of the approaching severe cyclone Bulbul, informed NDRF Director General S N Pradhan.

"Seventeen teams each have been stationed in the two states and the NDRF is prepared to tackle any eventuality," said Pradhan.

While the holidays of government officials have been cancelled in the coastal districts, the government has also announced closure of schools and Anganwadi centres in the nine districts on Saturday.

The SRC informed that some fishermen of West Bengal have reached the Odisha coast at Dhamra as they could not return due to heavy wind speed.

They will be provided shelter and food, he added.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said light to moderate rainfall at most places is very likely over north coastal districts of Odisha with isolated heavy rains over Puri, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore and Jagatsinghpur districts on Friday.

Light to moderate rain at most places is very likely to occur over north coastal districts of Odisha with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall over Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts and with heavy rainfall at isolated places over Jajpur district on Saturday, the IMD said.

The IMD said wind speed reaching 35-45 kmph and gusting to 55 kmph is likely to prevail along and off Odisha coast.

Meanwhile, the Coast Guard is maintaining close liaison with the Odisha and West Bengal for sharing inputs on movement of Cyclone 'Bulbul', which is expected to make landfall around Saturday-Sunday midnight between Khepupara in Bangladesh and Sagar island in West Bengal in the Sundarabans area.

A Coast Guard official said its regional headquarters (North-East) located in Kolkata has also kept disaster relief teams and medical units on standby at all ICG Stations for providing disaster relief if the need arises

(With Agency inputs)