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IIT atlas alert for Orissa coast
- Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara declared tsunami-prone

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 20: Orissa, which has been devastated by the supercyclone in 1999, has now been identified as one of tsunami-prone states.

The tsunami travel time atlas, published by IIT, Kharagpur, has identified Orissa coast to be prone to tsunami, said state disaster management minister Manmohan Samal.

According to a decision taken at the high-level meeting, chaired by the state chief secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy, 328 villages situated within 1.5km of the coastline in six coastal districts have been identified as tsunami-prone, said the minister.

While 63 villages of Balasore district have been identified as tsunami-prone, 41 villages in neighbouring Bhadrak district have been enlisted as vulnerable.

Similarly, 64 sea-side villages of Kendrapara district, 28 coastal villages of Jagatsinghpur district, 88 villages of Puri and 44 villages of Ganjam district have been identified as prone to tsunami.

Recently on October 29, the state government had chosen preparation for tsunami as the theme for the observance of the eighth anniversary of the 1999 super cyclone.

Experts gave presentations on the necessity of being prepared for a tsunami. T. Srinivas Kumar, the head of Advisory Services and Satellite Oceanography Group of Hyderabad-based Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, who gave a presentation on tsunami mitigation, said Orissa was one of tsunami-prone states.

Giving details of National Tsunami Early Warning System, the expert said Orissa was covered under the network.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik said the state’s vulnerability to tsunami has increased after December 26, 2004, tsunami. “We want to prepare ourselves against such emergencies,” said Patnaik.

“We have identified tsunami-prone villages and habitations and are taking steps to increase awareness of the general public on tsunami safety tips,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Orissa State Disaster Mitigation Authority (OSDMA) had organised a workshop on October 30-31 to train the trainers on tsunami. Around 30 high school teachers teaching and science were sensitised.

On September 12, people of coastal districts were alerted about the possible strike of tsunami and people in vulnerable places were shifted to safer places, said Sundaray.

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