By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, May 19, 2020: Odisha and West Bengal are gearing up to face the wrath of super cyclone Amphan, which weakened into an extremely sever cyclone on Tuesday as it moved closer to the coast triggering rainfall in several parts of Odisha.

The Odisha government said, it has taken all precautionary measures, including evacuation of people to meet the zero causality target set by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

H R Biswas, the director of Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar said, under its impact, light rain was witnessed in several areas of Puri, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Khurda districts of Odisha, and the intensity of rainfall and wind speed was likely to increase gradually.

Earlier today, NDRF chief SN Pradhan in a media briefing said that a total of 41 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in West Bengal and Odisha to deal with any emergency situation arising out of Super Cyclone Amphan. IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said since the super cyclone is gradually weakening, its impact is unlikely to be very severe on Odisha.

Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena said that evacuation has begun in six districts Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Bhadrak and Kendrapada along with parts of Jajpur and Mayurbhanj districts. Besides, 15 ODRAF and 15 NDRF teams have been deployed in the alerted districts and one more ODRAF team will be sent to Jagatsinghpur district to tackle any eventuality.

“75 teams of Odisha Forest Development Corporation (OFDC) have also been deployed while Water Resources Department has kept 226 gensets and 2690 overhead water tanks with loaded water ready. Rapid response teams with all facilities are also ready while 340 teams have been deployed by the Energy Department for restoration work”, the SRC added.

He further stressed that focus will be given on maintaining of social distancing and wearing of masks during the evacuation process.” Situation in our state is under control. We will complete the evacuation by this evening. Updates regarding the cyclone will be given to people through SMSs,” he added.

Over 15,000 people were evacuated till last night, informed Jena, who requested people not to go out of their houses during the cyclone to avoid any mishap.

Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Odisha and West Bengal chief ministers and reviewed the preparedness. He reiterated that Centre is ready to provide any kind of support needed.

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