Cyclone Amphan brewing over Bay, four North Odisha dists put on alert
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government on Friday asked 12 district Collectors in the coastal region to remain prepared as cyclonic storm ‘Amphan’ is brewing over Bay of Bengal.
Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy on Friday held a review meeting to ensure all precautionary measures are in place to face any eventuality that may arise due to the cyclone.
All coastal district Collectors, especially North Odisha Collectors, have been asked to closely monitor the situation.
Tripathy discussed extensively with the district Collectors of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Balasore and Bhadrak through video conferencing about the measures to be taken for the possible cyclone.
“Earlier, the cyclonic storms, including Titili and Fani, had caused massive devastation in Odisha. However, the State Government has been lauded for its disaster management strategy,” Tripathy said.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena, quoting IMD, said the low pressure over southeast Bay of Bengal is expected to concentrate into a depression and further intensify into a cyclonic storm over south and adjoining central parts of Bay of Bengal by May 16 evening.
“It is uncertain whether the storm will hit north Odisha or move towards West Bengal or Bangladesh. There is no clear picture yet. But, the Government is prepared to meet any eventuality. As a precautionary measure, we have put Collectors of 12 districts on high alert,” said the SRC.
Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and fire service personnel have been asked to remain prepared. However, their prepositioning will be decided after getting indication from the IMD about the path of the cyclone, said Jena.
As per the IMD prediction, the southern districts of the State including Ganjam and Gajapati as well as coastal districts of Puri and Kendrapara, may witness heavy rainfall with 40-45 kmph wind speed gusting up to 60-65 kmph on May 18 under the influence of cyclone. On May 19, rain is likely to occur in northern districts with 60-65 kmph wind speed gusting up to 85-90 kmph. Fishermen have been asked not to venture into the deep sea from Friday.
Meanwhile, IMD chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said that the possible cyclonic storm is likely to have an impact on coastal Odisha between May 18 and 19.
As many of the multi purpose cyclone shelters are used as quarantine centres for COVID-19, Collectors of coastal districts have been asked to identify alternative buildings which will be used as cyclone shelters.
The inmates of quarantine centres, located within 3 km radius from the coast, will be shifted to other safe locations. In case that is not possible, the inmates will be asked to undergo home quarantine after a fresh round of tests.
Since the offices are running with minimum staff due to COVID-19, the SRC informed that 100 per cent staff in the affected districts has been sought to work till the cyclone is over.