Kendrapara, June 20 (LocalWire): The Odisha State Disaster Mitigation Authority (OSDMA), along with the district administration and other government and non-government agencies conducted a mock flood and cyclone exercise in all 314 blocks and 840 cyclone and flood shelters across 30 districts, including the six coastal districts of Odisha to create awareness among the public.
“Indian Meteorological Center of Bhubaneswar sent mock cyclone and flood warning messages to the State Emergency Operation Center (SEOC) on Wednesday which immediately alerted the districts through fax, e-mail, SMS, and phone,” OSDMA general manager Krushna Chandra Bisoi said.
After getting messages, the district administration of all 30 districts further alerted the cyclone- and flood-prone villages.
The district administration, Indian Navy, Coast Guard, fishery officials, fire department, port officials, fishermen, locals, Panchayat body members, NGOs, and social workers participated in the mock drill that was conducted till afternoon, Bisoi informed.
The mock drill included the mandatory siren from all the 122 Early Warning Dissemination System (EWD) towers across 22 blocks in the six coastal districts to create awareness about the cyclone.
The EWD towers that were set up by the state government in 2017 includes Satellite-based Mobile Data Voice Terminals (SBMDVT), Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), mass messaging system (MMS) and Universal Communication Interface (UCI) for interoperability among different communication technologies.
“The mock drill has helped in increasing our preparedness, evaluate response capabilities and improve coordination among all government and non-government agencies,” the officer said adding that it also aims to evaluate the system’s operational capacity, the efficiency of communications among different concerned actors and the evacuation process in flood- and cyclone-prone village.
“OSDMA had earlier organised training of the trainers in these cyclone-prone villages. We also trained many teachers and students.
The OSDMA has already prepared plans to handle natural disasters like the tsunami, cyclone, and flood,” Bisoi informed.
The disaster mitigation authority has identified 328 villages within 1.5 km of the coastline in six coastal districts as tsunami prone.
These include 64 sea-side villages of Kendrapara district, 28 coastal villages of Jagatsinghpur district, 88 villages of Puri and 44 villages of Ganjam district.
Similarly, 63 villages of Balasore district were also identified as tsunami-prone, while 41 villages in neighbouring Bhadrak district were listed as vulnerable to tsunami within 1.5 kilometers from the sea.
While OSDMA conducted the mock drill in all tsunami-prone villages, mock cyclone and flood exercise was also organised at 70 places in Kendrapada district.