As the cyclonic storm approaches the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh coast and makes landfall on Sunday, the state government on Wednesday set a “zero casualty” target, making preparation on par with that made to deal with Cyclone Phailin last year.
“The Government will strive for zero casualty. District collectors must prepare immediately and keep the evacuation plan in respect to their districts ready, giving highest priority to most vulnerable villages/ habitations,” said a spokesman of the special relief commissioner.
The state government which earned worldwide praise for effectively handling Cyclone Phailin last year, has taken Hudhud cyclone as a challenge. The casualty in the Phailin was around 20.
While cancelling leave of all government employees, the state administration set up control rooms in various departments and the district offices immediately activated to function round the clock.
Personnel of the ODRAF (Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force), NDRF and fire services have been deployed in advance to areas likely to be affected by the cyclone and associated floods to carry out search and rescue operations and assist in evacuation operations, the official said.
The state government also asked district collectors to take special care while shifting the old, infirm, physically challenged, women, and children to safer places and cyclone shelters much before the occurrence of the disaster.
Cyclone and flood shelters must be checked and made ready to house the evacuees, the spokesman said adding that arrangements for food and medicine, baby food, water supply, lighting and sanitation in the shelters should be checked and curative measures taken, if any required.
Other buildings as per requirement should also be identified by the district administration for use as shelter where water supply, lighting and sanitation arrangements are to be made, the state’s instruction to the districts said.
As flood is always associated with cyclone, boat arrangements must be made in advance, it said, adding the water level of dams and minor irrigation projects must be monitored and the storage level reduced if required.
Further, rainfall in the upstreams of the rivers should be monitored regularly, it said.
Availability of sufficient food in hostels of all residential schools of ST & SC Development Department and other departments in the cyclone prone areas should be ensured, the collectors and the Departments concerned said.