Odisha on High Alert, Cyclone Phailin Nears Coast
The Cyclone Phailin has been upgraded to ‘very severe’, triggering panic in Coastal Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. The storm formed over the Bay of Bengal, is centred 820-km southeast of Paradip today. It would hit Gopalpur Coast by the night of October 12.
The cyclonic storm would move northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip on October 12. The Odisha Government is fully prepared to tackle the situation. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has cancelled his Delhi visit so that he can monitor the situation in the state.
At least 21 districts in Odisha, including Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur and Rayagada been put on high alert. The district collectors have been asked to maintain a strict vigil and keep the system ready to face any eventuality. The puja holidays of all government employees in all 30 districts of the state, have been cancelled. The concerned officials have been asked to keep adequate rescue and relief materials ready. In total, 21 districts have been asked to remain vigilant and alert.
The Odisha Government has asked for deployment of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) along with Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF). The Army Unit has also been alerted. In addition, the Air Force choppers will be pressed into service if required. The centre (NDMA) has already declared to provide 28 NDRF teams and two IAF aircrafts to fight the cyclone effect.
The horror of Super Cyclone with a wind speed of 300 kmph, is still afresh in the minds of people. The Super Cyclone, which had struck 14 Coastal districts of Odisha on October 29, 1999, had left over 10,000 dead and millions homeless. The Congress government led by Giridhar Gomang, failed to deal with the situation, which resulted in their ouster in 2000 assembly polls. Since then, Congress has remained without power in Odisha.
Here’s the Storm Tracker: http://www.cyclocane.com/phailin-storm-tracker/