Cyclone Fani: Odisha seeks helicopters, extra NDRF teams

Bhubaneswar:  With the cyclone Fani threatening to hit the Odisha coast on May 2, the state government sought two helicopters and additional NDRF teams from Central government for evacuation of affected people to safety, an official said here today.

“We have requested the Cabinet Secretary to station two helicopters for extra air-dropping, if required and additional NDRF teams as our primary task is evacuation,” Chief Secretary AP Padhi told reporters after attending a review meeting.

The evacuation process will begin from morning of May 2, he said, adding people from low-lying areas will be evacuated to nearby cyclone shelters, schools and other safe places.

It’s (Fani) not a super cyclone; it’s an extremely severe cyclonic storm. The maximum impact will be on Odisha as per the IMD’s prediction so far,” the Chief Secretary added.

As many as 879 cyclone shelters have been kept ready for sheltering the evacuated people. Besides, 28 NDRF, 20 ODRAF teams and fire services are positioned for the emergency situation.

Earlier in the day, the IMD said the cyclonic storm is likely to cross Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali around May 3 afternoon with maximum sustained wind of speed 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph.

According to the IMD, heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected to lash the south coastal districts of Malkangiri Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda and Puri on May 02.

From May 03, heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal areas of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Puri, Ganjam Gajapati, Kandhamal Kalahandi, Angul and Keonjhar, the IMD predicted.

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