New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had sent nearly 65 lakh messages to the people in eastern and southern India to give them updates about ‘Cyclone Fani’ that hit the Odisha coast earlier this month, a report said.
According to the report, which has been sent to the Union government, the IMD sent over 59 lakh messages to the farmers of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, advising them to take precautionary measures.
Nearly half of the 59,37,365 messages were sent to the farmers of Odisha which suffered the maximum destruction due to the severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’.
Some of the messages, which were also sent in local languages, read: “Keep the animals and poultry birds in safe places. Postpone harvesting and keep the harvested produce if any in safe place too.”
Multiples messages were sent to the farmers of these states from April 26-May 3 when the cyclone struck the Odisha coast, bringing large-scale destruction, flattening standing crops in the state and killing over 60 people.
More than 40 lakh farmers have registered themselves for the IMD’s ‘Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa’ project, in which they are sent crucial weather-related messages that can help them to deal with emergencies.
Moreover, over four lakh SMS were also sent to the public by the IMD. As many as 2,140 messages were sent to disaster managers of different states by the IMD.
The national weather agency’s cyclone warning centres in Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam also sent over 33,500 messages to different stakeholders. The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services also sent messages to fishermen to alert them about the storm.
The IMD won praise from different quarters for its accurate prediction of the very severe cyclonic storm and its landfall site. Dissemination of information to different stakeholders also played a critical role in carrying out massive evacuation exercise that saved several lives.