SIDR: Red alert issued, evacuation begun

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New Delhi, Nov 15 (UNI) The Home Ministry today issued red alert as the severe cyclone SIDR with a wind speed of 200 kmph, is likely to hit West Bengal-Orissa coast around midnight tonight, while people living in the vulnerable areas were already being evacuated.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil has spoken to West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asking them to take all necessary precautionary measures to save the lives and properties of people, sources said.

The cyclone which will be associated with heavy rainfall and gale of wind speed upto five kms per hour is likely to affect the coast of West Bengal and Orissa. People were already being evacuated from the two states.

Official sources said so far, nearly 30,000 people in Bhadrak, Balasore, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Puri and Ganjam in Orissa have been evacuated to safer places and kept in the Cyclone shelter house, while another 70,000 people were in the process of being evacuated from their places.

Wind speeds reaching 120-150 Kmph were likely along and off North Orissa Coast during the next 24 hours. Stormy winds reaching speeds of 50-60 kmph along and off coastal districts of south Orissa and adjoining districts of North Orissa were likely during next 24 hours.

The sea condition would be phenomenal (more than 14 meters) over North Orissa Coast and rough to very rough over South Orissa Coast.

Under its influence, the coastal districts of both the states would witness rain/thundershowers at most places with heavy to very heavy rain falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy rain fall of 25 cm or more likely over coastal districts of West Bengal during next 48 hours causing floods in low lying areas.

The East Midnapur District Authorities in West bengal have started evacuating people in the coastal areas to safer places in view of the warning of super cyclone.

''We have started miking and evacuation in the coastal areas especially at Digha, Sankarpur, Mandarboni, Haldia and Nandigram asking people to evacuate to safer places. We have also stocked relief materials in these areas and medical teams have been sent.

The local Panchayats have been warned to keep a close vigil on the situation,'' District Magistrate Anup Agarwal said.

The likely affected districts were Midnapore and South 24 Parganas (West Bengal) and Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur (Orissa).

The Home Ministry has also contacted relief commissioners of West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, informing them about the latest status.

It has also contacted commandants of BSF, NDRF Kolkata and CISF battalion at Mundali (Orissa) for deployment and relief work.

Ministries of Railways, Road Transport and Highways, Communications and Power have also been requested to take appropriate action in mobilising regional and local officers.

UNI

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