Odisha braces for Amphan: Thousands shifted, evacuation to complete by evening

Bhubaneswar: As the extremely severe cyclone Amphan inches closer and is now  470 km south of Paradip coast with a speed of 15 km per hour, the Odisha Government has rolled up its sleeves to take all precautionary measures, including evacuation of people to meet the zero causality target set by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

At a presser, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena today said  that evacuation has begun in six districts  Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Bhadrak and Kendrapada along with parts of Jajpur and Mayurbhanj districts. Besides,  15 ODRAF and 15 NDRF teams have been deployed in the alerted districts and one more ODRAF team will be sent to Jagatsinghpur district to tackle any eventuality.

“75 teams of Odisha Forest Development Corporation (OFDC) have also been deployed while  Water Resources Department has kept 226 gensets and 2690 overhead water tanks with loaded water ready. Rapid response teams with all facilities are also ready while 340 teams have been deployed by the Energy Department for restoration work”, the SRC added.

He further stressed that focus will be given on maintaining of social distancing and wearing of masks during the evacuation process.” Situation  in our state is under control. We will complete the evacuation by this evening. Updates regarding the cyclone will be given to people through SMSs,” he added.

Over 15,000 people were evacuated till last night, informed Jena, who requested people not to go out of their houses during the cyclone to avoid any mishap.

Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and reviewed the preparedness. He reiterated that Centre is ready to provide any kind of support needed.

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