Bhubaneswar: With cyclonic storm "Hudhud" approaching the coast, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday urged Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley to issue instruction to Indian Air Force to remain ready to extend support to the state administration.
"I would request you to kindly issue standing instruction to defence forces, especially the Indian Air Force to remain in readiness to extend support to the state administration for rescue and relief operation as and when required," Patnaik wrote to Jaitley.
Stating that Odisha was likely to experience wind speed between 130 kmph to 140 kmph when the very severe cyclonic storm makes landfall on Sunday, Patnaik said entire coastal area is vulnerable to the calamity.
Therefore, the state government wanted to ensure that the pilots and personnel of the IAF should remain alert so that their help can be sought at the time of need, he said.
Patnaik said the the 3rd battalion of the NDRF and Odisha's ODRAF along with the fire service personnel were ready for the impending situation. Still, the state government feels that the help of the IAF may be required as the wind speed could cross 150 kmph.
Lauding the role of the IAF during cyclone Phailin that hit the Odisha coast last year, Patnaik said effective management of the disaster could be possible if things were ready ahead of the calamity.
Patnaik also urged Jaitley to instruct the Air Force bases in and around Odisha to extend help to the state government if the situation so warranted.
Meanwhile, Odisha's chief secretary also talked to the Cabinet Secretary over phone on the matter relating to the cyclonic storm, sources said.