Cyclone FANI: Odisha Launches Evacuation On War-Footing For 11 Lakh Vulnerable People

Bhubaneswar: Abiding by the most urgent directive issued by the Odisha Government soon after the high level review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik yesterday, evacuation of eleven lakh vulnerable people have already started in the State much prior to the landfall of severe cyclonic storm ‘FANI’.

The target is to be achieved by today evening.      

Briefing media at 4 pm today, SRC office spokesperson informed, “Evacuation process has already begun. As security of the people will be given the highest priority, all the Collectors are in touch with the State Administration since yesterday.”

He added, “As per the information received, 4.5 lakh people have already been evacuated in 15 districts. 825 identified shelter houses being used for them. These shelter houses are well-furnished with drinking water, free kitchen, medical facilities, first aid facilities, et al. Time to time also being monitored.”

He further informed, “All the local authorities and representatives are well aware of evacuating the old, the children, the women and the disabled. Also they will be given special care.”

“The evacuation process is still going on,” he quipped.       

Another SRC office spokesperson Bhabani Shankar Chaini informed, “We are taking steps to evacuate 11 lakh people. We have been adequately equipped for the operation. We have 879 multi-purpose cyclone and flood shelters for that large evacuation.”

He added, “Now we have 5,97,000 polythene stock. It can be used when needed. 1 lakh food packets are being readied for necessary airdropping.”

He further informed, “But, our priority is on immediately evacuating the people living in ‘kuchcha’ (mud) houses and in the vulnerable pockets.    

Yet another SRC office spokesperson Krupasindhu Mishra informed,  “While senior IAS officers have been deputed to different districts, about 70 OAS officers have also been deputed to 9 districts. The Collectors have also been directed to deploy these OAS officers soon. By 1 pm today all the officers will reach the 9 districts.”

He added, “Hon’ble Chief Minister is also presiding over a review meeting with various departments now. Also he will hold video-conferencing with the concerned Collectors at 2 pm to get apprised of the ground report.”

He further informed, “Our top priority is zero casualty and hence our first operation is to evacuate the people living in the ‘kuchcha’ (mud) houses. Hence, we hope to achieve our target of evacuating the 8 lakh vulnerable people by today evening.”

Notably, Odisha SRC Office has appointed three spokespersons for the time to time media updates on Cyclone FANI. The three spokespersons are Additional Secretary Sangram Mohapatra, Bhabani Shankar Chaini and Krupasindhu Mishra.