Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the formation of a low pressure area in the Andaman Sea, Odisha government has asked collectors of 18 districts to be prepared for a possible cyclone coming in from Bay of Bengal.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena in a letter to the district collectors of Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada and Kandhamal asked them to prepare in advance to reduce the impact of the possible cyclone.
He asked district collectors to regularly watch IMD forecasts and warnings and directed the authorities to send a compliance report on the recommended measures with detailed information on arrangements made in their respective districts by May 6.
The IMD has informed the Odisha government that a low-pressure area is likely to form over South Andaman Sea and its neighbourhood by Friday under the influence of a cyclonic circulation. The system is very likely to intensify into a depression in the next 48 hours and move in the north-westward direction.
The IMD also indicted that conditions are favourable for the formation of a storm next week.
Jena asked the district collectors to identify the vulnerable people and shift them to safe shelters, prepare a detailed evacuation plan for those living in kutcha houses, near the coast or in low lying areas. The elderly, the disabled, women and children should be sent to designated geo-tagged shelter buildings.
All safe shelter buildings, permanent or temporary, should be geo-tagged and a team comprising three local officials – two male and one woman such as ASHA workers, lady teachers, lady constables and home guards should be put in charge of each of them, he instructed.
This exercise too must be completed by May 6 and information on identified safe shelter buildings indicating latitude and longitude, names of the officials in charge and their mobile numbers must be sent to the SRC, the letter said.
Jena also directed that safe pucca school buildings, public buildings in vulnerable areas should be identified as temporary shelters as per requirement and all cyclone and flood shelters should be immediately checked by the local tehsildars. They should check the water supply, functional toilets, generators, inflatable tower lights, mechanical cutters and other equipment available at these shelters.
As the power supply is cut off during the peak period of the cyclone, all offices should make their backup power arrangement for that period. Generators available in different offices and health institutions should be immediately checked and adequate fuel stored, he said.
The SRC said that satellite phones and digital mobile radio communication systems have been established in six coastal districts under the Early Warning Dissemination System for use in the event of the cyclone.
The district emergency operation center and control rooms of other offices must operate round the clock with adequate manpower and ensure that all communication equipment are in working condition, the letter added.