Rescue teams conduct drills in Orissa over cyclone Laila
Hundreds of relief and rescue personnel held drills in Orissa Thursday amid fears that the severe cyclonic storm Laila over the Bay of Bengal may trigger flash floods in parts of the state, an official said.
Bhubaneswar: Hundreds of relief and rescue personnel held drills in Orissa Thursday amid fears that the severe cyclonic storm Laila over the Bay of Bengal may trigger flash floods in parts of the state, an official said.
The drills were held in several places in Ganjam district as it may be more affected by the cyclone, special relief commissioner Nikunja Sundaray told IANS.
The state government has alerted all its district administrations although the main impact of the cyclonic storm is likely on the coastal districts, the official said.
"The impact may be on coastal districts," Sundaray said adding that few districts such as Gajapati and Ganjam may witness flash floods. Besides, the Chilika lagoon might have storm surges.
The Chilika lake, some 100 km from here, is spread across Puri, Khurdha and Ganjam districts along the east coast.
"Overall about 30,000-40,000 people in the state, mostly in coastal districts may get affected. All of them have been alerted. We are closely monitoring the situation and, if necessary, we will evacuate them and move them to cyclone shelters," Sundaray said.
He said that the state government has already deployed relief and rescue teams in all the vulnerable areas.
The meteorological centre at Bhubaneswar said the severe cyclonic storm formed over the Bay of Bengal has moved northwards and lay centered over west central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal at about 620 km southwest of Gopalpur.
The cyclonic storm crossed the Andhra Pradesh coast near Bapatla in Guntur district Thursday afternoon.
"The system is likely to move northeastwards across Orissa after the landfall. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely at isolated places over the southern belt of the state," Sundaray said.
"Squally wind speed reaching 50 to 60 km per hour is likely to commence along and off Orissa coast from Thursday evening," he said.
"We have issued advisory to the fishermen asking them not to venture into the sea as the condition of the sea will remain rough to very rough," he said.