Odisha government starts evacuation of people

Bhubaneswar: With the cyclonic storm Hudhud intensifying into a very severe cyclonic storm, the Odisha government Friday asked eight district collectors of south Odisha to start evacuation of the vulnerable population to safe buildings and cyclone centres.

The government has asked the collectors of Malkangiri, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Gajapati, Ganjam, Kalahandi and Kandhamal to carefully assess and evacuate the people likely to be affected by the cyclone.

The India Meteorology Department (IMD) has forecast that these districts will be affected by Hudhud although wind speed, after landfall of the system around Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh Oct 12, is likely to be reduced substantially.

The wind speed in south districts of Odisha is likely to be 80-90 kmph, said a spokesperson of Special Relief Commissioner here.

He added that free kitchens will be opened to provide hot meal at shelter places, besides drinking water.

IMD has forecast very heavy to extreme rainfall in south Odisha districts. Besides, other coastal districts may also get heavy rainfall.

Fifteen units of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 10 teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) have been deployed in districts likely to be affected by the cyclone and associated flood. One NDRF team has been kept in reserve. Out of these, 4 units of NDRF have been diverted from the NDRF Battalion, Kolkata,” said the spokesperson.

These teams will assist the district administration in carrying out search, rescue and evacuation operations. The Fire Service units will also be associated in the search, rescue and evacuation operations.

For communication with the district administration during the cyclone, government has provided 14 satellite phones obtained from the union government.

The rescue operation teams and government officials Friday conducted mock drill in all the 323 multi-purpose cyclone shelters in the state with active participation of the community.

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