Odisha asks collectors of 7 districts in path of Cyclone Gulab to begin evacuation
Ahead of the landfall of cyclonic storm Gulab on Sunday evening at northern Odisha coast, the Odisha government on Saturday asked collectors of seven districts in the path of the storm to carry out evacuation process in vulnerable areas while initiating deployment of 173 teams of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and fire services.
Speaking to the district collectors, managing director of state disaster management authority, Pradeep Jena, said cyclone Gulab may cross south Odisha-North Andhra Pradesh coasts around Kalingapatnam by the evening of September 26 triggering heavy to very heavy rainfall in Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Kandhamal, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, and Koraput districts.
“We are getting prepared for the possible devastation caused by strong wind, heavy rainfall and flash flood. Timely evacuation will be made from vulnerable areas. There may be landslides in Gajapati and Rayagada districts as faced during Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Titli,” said Jena. He said Gajapati and Koraput district administrations have cancelled public holidays of their officials on September 25 and 26 asking the employees to remain present at their headquarters to meet any emergency.
Jena said the collectors of the seven districts have been alerted to be prepared as there are chances of squally winds, waterlogging in low-lying areas, and flash floods in hilly areas. Heavy rainfall may also lead to flooding in Rushikulya, Vamsadhara, and Nagavalli rivers.
While the seven districts already have 107 existing Fire Services teams, 42 ODRAF and 24 NDRF teams will also be deployed.
Officials said Odisha will receive the first cyclonic rainfall from around 10 pm on Saturday with Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Chattrapur getting lashed by rainfall in the range of 2-3 mm/hr.
From midnight, districts like Koraput, Rayagada and Gajapati will start getting rains. At around 10 pm on September 26, Koraput and Rayagada will record rainfall in the range of 3mm/hr. Heavy rainfall is predicted to continue in the districts till around 9 am on Monday.