Bhubaneswar: In view of the fast approach of very severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ from the Bay of Bengal and its possibility of touching Odisha, a high level meeting of the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) was presided over by the Chief Secretary at the Secretariat here in a bid to take stock of the situation and review our preparedness for tackling it.
Briefing media soon after the most significant review meeting, Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi informed, “Yesterday also we had received information that Cyclone Fani may have its landfall near Gopalpur. But, we have until now and are fully relying on the IMD and the US Navy’s information (regarded as the one of the better forecasting institutions).”
“Both have the forecast that it (Fani) would skirt the Odisha coast but wouldn’t have any landfall. When it would pass the Odisha coast, it would trigger heavy rainfall and windspeed would be 50-60 kmph.”
The Odisha Chief Secretary also informed, “As we received advance warning on Cyclone Fani, we rescheduled our cyclone preparatory meeting today. As per the fresh information basing on IMD and US Navy’s forecast, it (Fani) has not yet crossed the Indian coast at any place, but moving close the Indian coast. The forecast has mentioned its path till May 3. Hence, we’re keeping a close watch.”
He added, “Today we have initiated whatever precautionary steps to be taken. Fishermen have already been warned not to venture into the sea. Already a fishing ban is in force due to the breeding season. Still we have ordered to re-enact the ban at the field level. Whatever preparedness is required, we have kept all in readiness.”
“Now our 20 teams of ODRAF are functional. Last year there were 10 teams. 12 units of NDRF are also functional in Odisha. We hope we can combat any eventualities,” assured the Odisha Chief Secretary.
Odisha Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi also informed media, “Cyclone by this time is an unusual phenomenon. We are tracking. The Chief Secretary has also chiared a meeting with all. He has also talked through video-conferencing with the concerned Chief Secretaries and the Union Cabinet Secretary. All sorts of preparations are being made.”
We have alerted all the coastal districts about the forecast. Due to the impact of Fani, there will be rainfall in coastal Odisha from May 2. It won’t touch the landscape till May 4.”
“All our 880 cyclone shelters have been kept fully ready.on. 12 units of NDRF, 20 ODRAF and 335 Fire station units are also ready,” assured the SRC.
He further made it clear, “It isn’t going to hit either Odisha or any other States by May 4. It is off the coast. Its impact will be triggering rains in coastal Odisha. In some places normal rainfall while in some places heavy rainfall. We hope there will no heavy impact on Odisha.”