Bhubaneswar: As the Meteorological Department has predicted Odisha is likely to bear the maximum impact of cyclone Fani, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik stressed on ensuring ‘zero casualty’ and asked officers to remain on high alert to tackle the cyclonic storm.
Conducting a review meeting at the state secretariat here this afternoon to take stock of the preparedness, the CM instructed all concerned authorities to evacuate people living in low laying areas to safe places before the cyclonic storm makes landfall in the state.
“I appeal to everyone that children, women, old and disabled persons be evacuated first. All precautions have been taken to face the cyclone. We are fully prepared to tackle the cyclone Fani,” Patnaik told reporters soon after the meeting.
He stressed that all efforts should be made to ensure ‘zero casualty’ during the cyclone as “every life is precious”.
“As many as 8 lakh people living in the vulnerable areas will be evacuated to cyclone shelters by tomorrow evening,” Patnaik added.
The CM held discussions with collectors of district Collectors via video conference and directed them to remain alert to meet any emergency situation.
Besides, Patnaik reviewed deployment of NDRF and ODRAF teams in the districts. The Chief Minister directed the officers to undertake restoration works soon after the cyclone weakens.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi informed that free kitchen will start at cyclone shelters from tomorrow to provide food to the evacuated people.
The government has assigned 11 IAS officers and 11 IPS officers to supervise the relief, rehabilitation and restoration work in the districts that are likely to be affected by the cyclone.
Earlier in the day, Collectors in the all coastal and adjoining districts of Gajapati, Nayagarh, Khordha, Cuttack, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj have been advised to identify all vulnerable people living in kutcha houses or living near the coast or in low lying areas.
The government has cancelled leaves and holidays for all the officials in the Energy Department as part of preparedness in view of the possible damage in power supply and distribution during the cyclone.
All kinds of leaves of doctors and health staffs have been cancelled up to May 15. The Health Department has asked that all those who are on leave must report back to respective headquarters by Wednesday evening.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclonic storm is expected to make a landfall in Puri at 5:30 PM on May 3.
It is very likely to intensify further and cross Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, to the south of Puri around May 3 afternoon with maximum sustained wind speed 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph.