Bhubaneswar: The extreme severe cyclonic storm Fani that will hit Odisha coast near Puri Friday is likely to affect over 10,000 villages and 52 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in 14 districts of the state.
During a review meeting on Fani, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi had informed Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik about the same in Bhubaneswar on Thursday evening.
As per latest bulletin of IMD, the cyclonic storm is moving northwards with a speed of about 15 kilometres per hour and lay centred at about 275 kilometres south-southwest of Puri (Odisha), 160 kilometres east-southeast of Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and 570 kilometres south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal).
It is very likely to move nearly north north-eastwards and cross Odisha Coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, around Puri tomorrow with maximum sustained wind speed 170-180 kilometres per hour gusting to 200 kilometres per hour.
Areas to be severely affected
Under its impact, storm surge of about 1.5 metres height above astronomical tide is very likely to inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts at the time of landfall, sources in the office of SRC said.
The forecast given by IMD indicates that Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurdha, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Balasore districts of Odisha are likely to be severely affected.
Kutcha houses, communication and power poles to be hit
Based on damage assessment by the SRC officce, the cyclone is expected to cause extensive damage to all types of kutcha houses and some damage to old badly managed pucca structures. The state is having thousands of kutcha houses in the districts which are likely to be severely affected by the cyclone, especially in Ganjam, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Puri districts.
ESCS ‘FANI’ is about 275 km south-southwest of Puri .To move north-northeastwards and cross Odisha Coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, south of Puri on 3rd May F/N with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph . Landfall process will continue till noon/afternoon of 3rd May. pic.twitter.com/oHGJTvUHCr
— India Met. Dept. (@Indiametdept) May 2, 2019
Extensive uprooting of communication and power poles in coastal and adjourning districts is also expected.
The SRC has also said that disruption of rail/road link is likely at several places in the districts of Puri, Ganjam, Khurda and Jagatsinghpur.
Besides, extensive damage to standing crops, plantation, orchards; blowing down of palm and coconut trees; uprooting of large bushy trees is also expected. However, considering paddy harvest season is most over, there might be less impact on farmers due to cyclone.
Heavy rainfall to commence from midnight
The office of the SRC also notified rainfall assessment for Odisha starting midnight.
2 MAY, midnight onwards: Heavy to very heavy rainfall is very likely at a few places over Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Khordha, Koraput, Rayagada and Kandhamal districts with isolated extremely heavy rainfall over the districts of Gajapati, Ganjam, the office of SRC said, adding that intense heavy rainfall likely to commence from midnight.
Isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall over districts of Nayagrh, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Bodh (intense rainfall likely to commence from late night) and Malkangiri (intense rain started from evening).
3 May: Heavy to very heavy rainfall very likely at a few places over the districts of Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Khordha, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, Balasore, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Angul, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj with isolated extremely heavy rainfall over districts of Puri, Khurdha, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, Balasore and Mayurbhanj.
4 May: Heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places in the districts of Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, Balasore, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj of Odisha.
Preparedness measures undertaken by Odisha govt
The intensity of cyclone Titli that had hit Odisha in last October was much below than the Fani. But, it had caused a loss of about Rs 2,765 crore and affected 60.11 lakh people. Apart from severe damage to infrastructure, the cyclone and floods had taken 57 lives. It had damaged crop in 2.6 lakh hectare of land and destroyed 56,930 houses, and killed 34,951 domestic animals, as per the estimation made by Odisha Government.
To mitigate the natural disaster, the Odisha government has taken all necessary actions and deployed 18 teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), 25 units of NDRF and 525 teams of fire service personnel at various districts where the likely impact will be more, spokesperson to SRC, Sangram Mohapatra said.
Besides, two ODRAF units and three NDRF teams are on standby for immediate deployment as per requirement. Fire Service in all the districts are in readiness for immediate response, he said.
Collectors in the all coastal and adjoining districts of Gajapati, Nayagarh, Khordha, Cuttack, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj have been advised to identify all vulnerable people living in kutcha houses or living near the coast or in low lying areas and shift them to multipurpose cyclone/ flood shelters and other safe shelters. Out of 11.5 lakh people identified as vulnerable, 4.5 lakh have been evacuated till evening and the process is going on. According to latest reports, over 11 lakh people had been evacuated.
District Emergency Operation Centres and control rooms of other offices have been activated and functioning round the clock.
Departmental helpline numbers:
|CE FC & BM LMB WR||2395951/2395953|
|School and Mass Education||2393531|
Districtwise control room numbers:
A total of 879 multi-purpose cyclone/ flood shelters have been kept in readiness for sheltering people to be evacuated from the affected areas. Arrangements have already been made for free kitchen, safe drinking water, lighting, health and sanitation facilities at the shelters, Mohapatra said.
Two helicopters have already been requisitioned from Ministry of Defence, Govt of India, for rescue and the choppers are kept ready.
Besides, senior IAS and IPS officers have already been assigned to districts likely to be severely affected to render all possible support to the district collectors in managing the cyclone. The government has also kept 5,97,006 numbers of polythene stocks (1,84,000 buffer stock at the state level and 4,12,541 available in 30 districts) for distribution in cyclone-affected areas.
One lakh food packets are being prepared for air dropping while 55 satellite phones have been provided to districts and response forces are in readiness for emergency communication.
The author is a Bangalore based freelance writer and a member of 101Reporters.com, a pan-India network of grassroots reporters.
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Updated Date: May 03, 2019 07:23:30 IST