Bhubaneswar, April 30 (LocalWire): The Odisha government on Tuesday directed the collectors of six coastal districts to immediately start preventive measures and disaster preparedness in the light of the impending severe cyclonic storm Fani which is expected to make landfall over the weekend.
According to the MeT department, cyclone Fani is heading towards the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh coast. As per its latest bulletin, Fani has intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm and lay centred at 8.30 hrs. on April 30 about 830 km south of Puri.
It is likely to intensify further into an extremely severe cyclonic storm during the next 12 hours.
In an urgent letter to the district collectors, Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi has asked the officers to urgently start preventive measures in their respective areas to minimise the damage.
These include shifting people from vulnerable areas to safe shelters on priority. Those living in kutcha houses, near the coast or in low lying areas must be evacuated to the multipurpose cyclone and flood shelters, the letter said.
It has also drawn attention to an evacuation plan prepared by INCOIS to evacuate people living in multi-storied buildings near the coastline.
The district authorities have also been directed to take special care to shift the old, physically challenged, women and children before Fani makes landfall.
The Commissioner has also directed the officers to check nearby residential schools, childcare institutions, old age homes and other similar institutions that may need help; and stock essential items like food, drinking water, medicines etc. for use during an emergency.
The letter said kitchen, safe drinking water, lighting, health and sanitation facilities must be arranged at the shelters as per the guidelines of NDMA on a minimum standard of relief.
All cyclone and flood shelters should be immediately made ready to house the people. Water supply system, generator, inflatable tower light, mechanical cutters and other equipment available in shelters should be put to test run and the defective ones got immediately repaired, it said
Fuel arrangements for the generators and other equipment may also be made. The responsibility may be assigned to specific officers and teams to undertake the above tasks in a seamless manner, the letter further said.
Livestock and domestic animals in vulnerable areas should also be evacuated to safer places. No cattle should be left tied in kutcha houses. And soon after the cyclone is abated, food assistance in the form of rice, chuda and gur etc. must be provided to the affected people, the letter said.
It also said that households whose houses are damaged in the cyclone must be provided with temporary shelter materials without delay, while the District Emergency Operation Centre and Control Rooms of other offices must operate round the clock, with adequate manpower.
The commissioner also directed the collectors to ensure all communication equipment like phone and fax, etc. are in working condition.
The government has also provided satellite phones to all the collectors of the coastal districts for fast and uninterrupted communication in a disaster scenario. Also, digital mobile radio communication systems have been established in six coastal districts under the EWDS project.
As many as 300 power boats of Special Relief Organisation have been prepositioned in different districts, while the collectors have been urged to make arrangements for their deployment.
It has also urged the collectors to arrange adequate quantity of POL for use as well as for supply to NDRF, ODRAF and Fire Services if needed during the rescue operations.
As the power supply is likely to be cut off during the peak period of the cyclone, all offices should make their back-up power arrangement for that period. Generators available in the different offices including health institutions should be immediately checked and adequate fuel stored.
Immediate restoration of road communication for the movement of relief materials to the affected areas is important, hence necessary advance arrangements may be made through the concerned departments for the restoration of the damaged roads immediately after the cyclone subsides.
A similar arrangement may also be made for immediate restoration of electricity and telecommunication, including internet services. Steps should also be taken to disseminate correct information about the upcoming cyclone among the people and with advice not to panic.
Fishermen have also been advised not to venture into the sea. This is to continue until the de-warning is issued by the IMD. Also, Mobile health and veterinary teams may be organised in advance and for deployment in the affected areas. Feed and fodder should be arranged for the animals, it said.
Six coastal districts of Odisha and adjoining districts of Gajapati, Nayagarh, Khordha, Cuttack, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj are likely to be affected by the cyclone and associated rainfall.
Keeping in view of the rough weather, which is likely to prevail much before the landfall of the system, all preparedness measures are required to be undertaken well in advance to reduce the impact of the cyclone, the letter added.