Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said all necessary steps have been taken to evacuate people from low-lying areas, and added that relief, medical and food facilities would be supplied to people affected by Cyclone Phailin “Steps have been taken to evacuate people from low-lying areas. Also, relief material, medical facilities and food would be supplied to people affected by the cyclone,” he told media here today.
Earlier in the day, Director General of the MET Department, LS Rathore said the disaster would continue to have an impact in the affected regions for at least 24 hours after the cyclone hits the coasts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Rathore said that Phailin is presently moving in northwestwardly direction and will continue to move towards the coast of Andhra, north Andhra, Odisha. He confirmed that it is likely to hit between Kallingapatnam and Paradip, around Gopalpur, this evening.
High wind and heavy rain lashed the coastal belt of Odisha today disrupting normal life.
Meanwhile, majority of flights from and to Odisha have been cancelled due to the cyclone, the director of the Biju Patnaik Airport, Sarat Kumar, said. Phailin, which is likely to hit the coast at 6 pm today, is expected to bring wind speeds at 210 to 220 kilometers, gusting up to 240 kilometers per hour when the cyclone hits the coast.
Massive evacuation operations have been taking place since yesterday evening, and the MET Department has confirmed that the process is almost complete in an attempt to minimize damage. Nearly three lakh people have been evacuated in Odisha, and at least 65,000 people have been evacuated in Andhra Pradesh by rescue and relief teams.
Authorities in the two states have warned of extensive damage to crops, village dwellings and old buildings, as well as disruption of power, water and rail services. Shelters were being stocked with rations, and leave for government employees for Dussehra have been cancelled.