Bhubaneswar: As the cyclonic storm Gulab over Bay of Bengal is approaching for landfall between south Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coasts today, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik advised officials to ensure strict adherence of COVID-19 safety protocols in districts to be hit by the cyclone.
In view of upsurge in COVID cases post Cyclone ‘Yaas’ in May this year, Patnaik asked the collectors as well as other concerned officials to work beyond requirements for people to save lives during Cyclone Gulab that is likely to hit on Sunday midnight.
He directed them to make sure that Covid safety protocols will be properly followed at cyclone shelters in the regions that will be severely affected by Gulab to avoid possible spread of infections among people after the cyclonic storm.
Reviewing the Government’s preparedness via video conferencing programme for Cyclone Gulab, the CM stressed on zero causality during the cyclone. He directed the officials to expedite evacuation process in low lying and flood-prone areas by today afternoon.
As the possibility of landslides during cyclone could not be ruled out, he asked the administration to shift residents from vulnerable areas to safer places on war footing manner.
He also asked to keep watch on embankments in Aska, Guadri, Gunupur, Kadinagar and Purusottampur areas as well as other flood-prone villages in 7 districts including Gajapti and Ganjam that are likely to be worst-hit by Cyclone Gulab.
CM Patnaik also urged public to cooperate the administration in observance of Covid protocols and evacuation work.
Analysing eventuality, he has already directed to shut all educational institutions in 11 districts for tomorrow. The collectors of concerned districts will take decision on reopening of schools after reviewing post-cyclone situation.
Development Commissioner and Relief Commissioner Pradeep Jena briefed the CM about the initiatives taken to counter the cyclone.
He informed that 42 ODRAF teams, 24 NDRF teams and 103 Fire Service teams have been deployed in seven districts which are likely to be most affected by the cyclonic storm.
He said the IMD has predicted that seven districts would experience less wind but heavy to very heavy rainfall on Sunday and Monday. The districts — Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada and Koraput — are likely to be worst affected by the cyclone Gulab. This apart, heavy to very heavy rainfall may occur in Kandhamal, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur and Kalahandi districts and intense spell of rain likely to occur in Khordha, Puri and Nayagarh districts under influence of the cyclonic storm.
He alerted that officials about possible landslides in some areas in Gajapati and Rayagada districts. He said that the officials have been directed to take appropriate steps for proper evacuation in areas which are probe to landslides.