Odisha Gears Up To Face Another Cyclone

Bhubaneswar: As Odisha has been put on a cyclone alert, a set of precautionary measures were taken while keeping in mind the COVID-19 crisis. Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena briefed the media regarding the same, today.

He said, “While the north-coastal districts of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak and Balasore have been put on high alert, Collectors of another eight districts have been asked to also be prepared for the worst. Leaves of all Government employees in the districts of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak and Balasore districts have been cancelled. Roster duty which was in place due to COVID-19 lockdown remains suspended till further notice.”

Jena also said that district administrations have been asked to set-up alternate cyclone shelters since the existing cyclone shelters are being used as quarantine centres. They have been asked to inspect and make them functional with strict maintenance of social distancing norms. Respective Collectors will also be prepared for evacuation, if necessary.

While referring to the meeting with Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy which preceded the presser, Jena said that various department have been assigned their additional duties. These include alerting farmers to preserving Rabi crop in mandis, management of water levels in irrigation projects, drinking water management, handling of COVID-19 patients or suspected cases in high-alert districts among others.

NDRF, ODRAF, Odisha Police and Odisha Fire services have been asked to remain alert and take necessary pre-emptive action. Additionally, fisherfolk have been advised to refrain from deep-sea fishing, and who are still at sea, have been asked to make a return by May 17.