Odisha has to evacuate around 60,000 people as cyclone Amphan nears, says Chief Secretary Tripathy

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], May 18 (ANI): As cyclone 'Amphan' is approaching Odisha, the State has to evacuate around 50,000 to 60,000 people, said Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy on Monday.

"We will have to evacuate around 50,000-60,000 people. 1000 personnel of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force have been deployed," Tripathy told ANI.

He said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has reviewed the current situation and coordination between various departments involved in the preparedness against the upcoming cyclone.

Moreover, 1,000 personnel of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force have been deployed to tackle the situation.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting in New Delhi to review the response measures against cyclone 'Amphan' developing in the Bay of Bengal and has assured all support from the Central government.

"Reviewed the preparedness regarding the situation due to cyclone 'Amphan.' The response measures, as well as evacuation plans, were discussed. I pray for everyone's safety and assure all possible support from the Central Government," tweeted Prime Minister Modi.

The Prime Minister took full stock of the situation and reviewed the response preparedness as well as the evacuation plan presented by the NDRF.

The Ministry of Earth Sciences has said that super cyclonic storm 'Amphan' over west-central and adjoining central parts of south Bay of Bengal moved nearly northwards with a speed of 7 Kmph during past six hours and lay centred at 2.30 pm over the west-central and adjoining central parts of south Bay of Bengal, about 730 km nearly south of Paradip (Odisha), 890 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal) and 1,010 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh).

The Ministry said the storm is very likely to move nearly northwards for some more time and then north-northeastwards across the northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) close to Sundarbans during the afternoon or evening of May 20 as an extremely severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 165-175 Kmph gusting to 185 Kmph. (ANI)