Bhubaneswar, Nov 13 (UNI) The Orissa government today alerted the Airforce and the Army's Punjab Regiment stationed at Jharkhand as a severe cyclonic storm lay centered over South-East Bay of Bengal, about 850 km South East of Paradeep, and is likely to intensify further and hit the Orissa coast.
Meteorological sources here said the storm was moving in north westerly direction and if it continued to move in the same direction it would hit the Orissa coast.
The storm formed over the South East Bay of Bengal on last Sunday had moved in northern westerly direction. It had intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm.
Orissa Special Relief Commissioner Nikunja Sundar Ray today said the state was well prepared to face the situation and as a precautionary measure asked the District collectors of Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Kendrapara, Koraput and Rayagada to remain alert.
Meanwhile, a preparatory meeting of all the six coastal districts had already been completed and the field officers of the line department were asked not to leave headquarters till further order.
The collectors of six coastal districts were asked to store food stuffs, drinking water and other essential things in multi purpose cyclone centres to meet any eventuality.
They were also asked to store food, battery, petrol and oil in Gram Panchayat, Block and Panchayat level to deal with the possible cyclonic storm.
The district collectors had been asked to identify the low lying areas and schools to be used as cyclone shelter centres so that in event of any emergency the people could be evacuated to safer places.
Special instructions had been issued to hire vehicles for transporting materials and evacuating people.The Rural Development, Health, Irrigation, Panchayat Raj and Water Resource departments were also asked to take necessary precautionary measures.
While the Commerce and Transport department was asked to regulate the plying of vehicle in vulnerable areas to prevent any unwanted occurrence, the mass education department was directed to identify the schools which could be possibly used as cyclone shelter centres.
The SRC said in case of specific information about cyclone storm hitting the Orissa coast, the schools and educational institutions in the vulnerable areas would be declared closed.