Cyclone Amphan: About 7 lakh people likely to be affected

Bhubaneswar, May 16 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday directed the officials to ensure that every human life is saved as a cyclonic storm is brewing over the Bay of Bengal and is likely to affect the coastal districts of the state.
The state government predicts that around seven lakh people in 649 villages along the sea coast are likely to be severely affected due to the cyclone Amphan.
“IMD has informed that a cyclonic system has formed in the Bay of Bengal. It is likely to affect the Odisha coast during May 18-20. As always, saving of lives is our priority. We should put our best efforts to save every precious human life,” said the Chief Minister.
He reviewed the preparedness for the cyclone with 12 district collectors and senior officials through video-conferecing on Saturday.
He directed that NDRF, ODRAF and fire service personnel may be posted in different vulnerable locations.
Patnaik also appealed to the people not to panic and cooperate with the administration.
“We have faced many very severe cyclones like Phailin, Hudhud, Titli, Foni and Bulbul and managed successfully. I appeal to the people not to panic and cooperate with the administration,” he added.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena said the state government is prepared to face any eventuality in view of the cyclone.
“As the model indicates, the cyclone may not make a landfall in Odisha. However, we must always remain prepared for the worst. We have activated control room 24×7 in all districts,” said Jena.
Earlier, Union Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba reviewed the preparedness of Odisha with chief secretary Asit Tripathy over video a conference on Saturday.
“As per the predicted path of the cyclone till now, around seven lakh people in 649 villages along the sea coast are likely to be severely affected. The standing crop in lakhs of hectors particularly, ripe summer paddy, pulses and oil seeds, cashew, mango, coconut and vegetables are likely to be damaged in the heavy rainfall and wind,” said the chief secretary.
Tripathy said that all 12 costal districts have been kept under alert and they are prepared for any eventuality of change in track of the cyclone.
“Around 403 cyclone shelters have been identified in the area likely to be affected by the cyclone. Around 105 of such shelters are currently being used as temporary medical camps and quarantine centers for Covid care,” he added.
He said Covid test of the persons accommodated in these centers are being done expeditiously on priority so that persons with negative report can be sent for home quarantine.
As a contingency arrangement, alternative buildings have also been identified for use as cyclone shelter, in case of the need for more evacuation, said the chief secretary.

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