Cyclone alert: Odisha deploys NDRF, set to evacuate 3.5 lakh people

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Odisha Cyclone Alert! People evacuated
Bhubaneswar, Oct 10: With the meteorological department issuing warning on the "very severe cyclonic storm" set to hit the coast near Visakhapatnam on Sunday, Odisha government today deployed NDRF and ODRF to evacuate around 3.5 lakh people.

As the cyclonic storm Hudhud is all set to cross north Andhra Pradesh near Vishakhapatanam, Odisha government deployed 25 units - (each comprising 40 personnel), 15 of NDRF and 10 of ODRF besides fire service men in vulnerable places in different parts of the state.

The IMD has issued Orange Message on the impending storm. "As southern region is likely to be more affected by wind, heavy rainfall and consequent floods, collectors of eight districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Gajapati, Ganjam, Kalahandi and Kandhamal, have been asked to carefully assess and evacuate all vulnerable population to safe buildings," Chief Secretary G C Pati told reporters.

As cyclone and flood situation are new for the tribal population in these districts, the administration have been facing difficulty to convince the people for evacuation.

"We have engaged public announcement system and local community leaders to ensure that all the people living in kutcha houses are taken to safe places by tomorrow forenoon," Pati said.

"We have asked the collectors that no one should remain inside 'kutcha houses' in Malkangiri district. All the people living in 'kutcha' houses need to be evacuated to safe place," Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Mohapatra said, adding this was being done keeping the state's commitment of "zero casualty" as target.

Sources said about 3 lakh to 3.5 lakh people including those living in the coast of Ganjam would be evacuated. The SRC also asked the district authorities to start free kitchen where evacuation is undertaken. The districts are also told to stock adequate quantity of dryfood, he said.

Though the state government was expecting that the maximum wind speed in the areas adjoining Andhra Pradesh would remain within 100 kmph, it feared that heavy rainfall could create problem for the people. "The rainfall could be in the range of 10 cm to 25 cm within a span of only 36 hours from tomorrow afternoon," said Mohapatra.

He said besides the eight identified districts, many other places would also receive rainfall from tomorrow afternoon till Monday afternoon as per the IMD prediction.

Preparations were made to deal with possible flood in rivers like Rushikulya, Bamsadhara and Nagavali due to heavy rains that would accompany the cyclone.

As a precautionary measure 35 trains passing through the east coast would be cancelled while several others diverted, East Coast Railway (ECoR) said in a release here.

PTI

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