With countdown beginning for the ‘super cyclone-like’ calamity to hit Odisha coast on Saturday evening,the worried state governments are bracing up to face the calamity. The intensity of cyclonic storm is likely to reach 200 kmph at the time of landfall.
Here are the top ten latest developments on the issue:
1. Two important tourist destinations of Gopalpur and Puri in Odisha saw visitors leaving in droves because of fear of Cyclone Phailin.
2. The India Meteorological Department has ruled out the possibility of ‘very severe’ storm Phailin to turn into a ‘super cyclone’ like the one which hit Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in 1999. However,the IMD Director said that the Phailin has a good resemblance of the 1990 storm.
3. Odisha government has set a target of ‘zero casualty’ and ordered speedy evacuation of people in seven coastal districts.
4. The IMD forecast a storm surge of 2.5 meter to 3.0 (15 feet) meter in Ganjam,Khurda,Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts.
5. In view of the Cyclone Phailin,24 passenger trains between Visakhapatnam and Bhadrak on the Howrah-Chennai Main Line route tomorrow have been cancelled. The East Coast Railway would either be cancelling or regulating the local trains on the branch line to Paradeep,Puri,Angul and Talcher.
6. Armed forces along with NDRF,ODRF are ready for the relief and rescue operation. Two IAF IL-76 aircraft have already airlifted NDRF teams and equipment to Bhubneshwar. IAF assets have been kept on stand by at various bases including Raipur,Nagpur,Jagdalpur,Barrackpore,Ranchi and Gwalior. At least 28 teams of the National Disaster Response Forces are at the disposal of the Odisha government.
7. As many as 64,000 people in the north coastal districts of Srikakulam,Vizianagaram,Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh are being evacuated to safer places.
8. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked people not to panic over the situation as the state government was “fully” prepared to face any eventuality.
9. A round-the-clock control room has already been opened in the Secretariat in Hyderabad and district collectors have been told to take all necessary measures to deal with the situation.
10. Paradip port shut all cargo operations,plants and machinery after the cyclone warning. Port chairman Sudhanshu Shekhara Mishra said all vessels were ordered to leave the port,which handles coal,crude oil and iron ore.
11. The state government set up control rooms to make availble information,official sources said. The helpline number of the Odisha Central Control Room is 0674-2534177,the sources said.
(With inputs from PTI,Reuters)