Cyclone Titli: Odisha evacuates 3 lakh people, targets 'zero casualty'

CM Naveen Patnaik has said lakhs have been taken away from coastal areas in the state and that the state government has a 'zero casualty' disaster management policy.

Cyclone Titli: Odisha evacuates 3 lakh people, targets 'zero casualty'
Fishing boats parked on Puri beach after fishermen were warned not to venture into the rough sea. (IANS photo)

Bhubaneshwar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday said around three lakh people have so far been evacuated from the coastal areas of the state in view the very severe cyclonic storm Titli.

After holding the second review meeting at the office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) during the day, he said, "If required, more people will be evacuated to safer places."

Stressing on the government's 'zero casualty' disaster management policy, Patnaik said, "The state government has been closely monitoring the situation. The district collectors are already on high alert."

Evacuation was carried out in the five coastal districts of Ganjam, Puri, Khura, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara.

(Also read: Centre deploys 21 NDRF teams in Odisha, Andhra and West Bengal | Schools and colleges to remain shut in Odisha)

The state government's decision to go for massive evacuation drive was taken following an IMD forecast about a tidal surge of about one metre during the landfall of the cyclonic storm Titli at 5 am on Thursday.

According to official sources, 9,83,642 people were evacuated when Cyclone Phailin hit the state in 2013 and 2,55,042 people were shifted to multi-purpose shelters during Cyclone Hudhud in 2014. The state was also hit by Cyclone Daye last month, but its intensity was low.

The review meeting, attended by Chief Secretary A P Padhi, SRC B P Sethi and others, also took stock of the state's preparedness for the possible floods due to heavy to very heavy rainfall under the influence of the cyclone.

Patnaik directed the authorities to closely monitor the possibility of flood situation also.

Water resources secretary P K Jena said though there has been no such flood situation right now, the government has been keeping an eye on rainfall in Bansadhara and Rushikulya river basins in southern parts of the where the cyclone is likely to have more impact.