India

India: Orissa collectors on alert for rain-related eventualities

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BHUBANESWAR: With heavy rains wreaking havoc in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, the Orissa government has asked all district collectors to remain on alert to deal with monsoon-related eventualities.

Soon after the local weather office on Saturday warned heavy rainfall would occur at a few places and very heavy rainfall at isolated places in the state during the next two days, a communiqué from the chief secretary's office asked district magistrates to remain prepared with relief materials for any eventuality.

Officials said the entire state had experienced rains this year and with last year's heavy rains, which triggered landslides, in mind, the government wanted to take no chances. Nearly a dozen people were killed last year in Orissa's southern districts.

Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy on Friday reviewed the preparedness for dealing with any emergency and asked the collectors to act promptly in the event of cyclone or floods.

He said the collectors could spend money to cope with the situation without waiting for directions from the state administration.

All districts will be provided satellite phones to face challenges arising from floods or cyclone. Of the 30 districts in the state, 17 have satellite phone facilities. The government will soon install such phones in the remaining districts, officials said.