Gulab: Education institutes to remain shut in 11 districts of Odisha

Bhubaneswar:┬áIn view of cyclonic storm ‘Gulab’ which is likely to make landfall on Sunday evening, the Odisha government has announced closing down of schools and other educational institutions in 11 districts of the state on Monday.

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the preparedness made for the cyclone Gulab through video conferencing with 11 district collectors from New Delhi.

He also directed the collectors of Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Kandhamal, Malkangiri, Khordha, Puri, Nayagah and Kalahandi districts to keep schools and other educational institutions closed on Monday in view of the cyclone.

The chief minister has also directed collectors to take appropriate decisions regarding closure of schools and educational institutions on Tuesday depending on the situation in their respective districts.

Stressing on zero casualty, Patnaik asked the collectors of likely affected districts to ensure evacuation of people living in low-lying areas, slopes and other vulnerable pockets.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Kumar Jena said the evacuation process is going on and will be completed by 4 p.m. He said 42 ODRAF teams, 24 NDRF teams and 103 Fire Service teams will be deployed in the districts likely to be most affected by the cyclonic storm.

“As we are still battling with Covid-19, the chief minister has directed to ensure social distancing and masks at safe-shelters to check transmission of the virus,” said the SRC.

The cyclone is lay centered about 140 km from Gopalpur of Odisha coast and is likely to make landfall between Gopalpur and Kalingapatnam of Andhra Pradesh Sunday evening, said India Meteorological Department (IMD).

“The landfall process will start from evening around 6 p.m. and will complete by midnight (12 a.m.). The windfall speed will gradually increase in the landfall area. During the landfall, the wind speed will be 75-85 kmph gusting to 95 kmph,” said Director General of IMD, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra.

The cyclone will have a major impact on Ganjam and Gajapati districts of Odisha and Srikakulam and Vizianagaram area of Andhra Pradesh, he said.

Besides, districts like Rayagada, Malkangiri, Koraput and Nabarangpur would also witness heavy windfall of 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph, the DG said. Many places of south Odisha would experience heavy to very heavy rainfall, he added.

As per the IMD prediction, tidal waves of about 0.5 metre height above the astronomical tide likely to inundate low lying areas of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Ganjam districts during the time of landfall.