Monday, 30th October 2017

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Odisha gets system for calamity alerts

1st state in the country to have the Early Warning Dissemination System and Mass Messaging System

By Our Correspondent in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 30.10.18, 12:02 AM
  • Updated 30.10.18, 12:02 AM
  • a min read
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Chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the launch of the Early Warning Dissemination System in Bhubaneswar. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik launched the Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) and mass message system (MMS) on the occasion of Odisha Disaster Preparedness Day here on Monday.

The systems will provide timely alerts on calamities. Odisha has become the first state in the country to introduce such a system.

The Odisha Disaster Preparedness Day is observed as on this day in 1999, Odisha had experienced the super cyclone in which more than 10,000 people were killed.

In October this year, Odisha had witnessed the cyclonic storm, Titli, in which about 77 people had lost their lives.

About 122 towers have been set up along the 480 coastal belt of the state to disseminate early warning about calamities such as cyclone, tsunami and floods. These towers will alert rural communities through sirens and voice messages.

The state government has signed an MOU with the US-based, Earth Networks, to get early warning on lightning.

Launching the EWDS, Naveen said: “In the face of a disaster of this magnitude, such as the severe cyclonic storm, the third most aggressive in the past two decades, if we could manage near zero casualty along the entire coastline, the credit goes to each person who pitched in and also to the Odisha Disaster Preparedness System, the 879 shelter buildings, 20 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (Odraf) Units, 339 fire and disaster response units, the EWDs, our partnership with RIMES Thailand, Earth Networks USA, deployment of Doppler radars, our initiative of pucca houses and our scientific mock-drills with community participation.”

The chief minister further said: “We have come a long way from 1999, however, we have some ground to cover in forecasting precision and vulnerability mapping, especially of interior areas, where we lost lives and property.”

Naveen said despite Odisha faced natural disasters almost every year, it had been able to maintain a growth rate higher than rest of the country.

Revenue and disaster management minister Maheswar Mohanty, chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, development commissioner R. Balakrishnan and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi were present on the occasion.