Odisha CM seeks defence help to face 'Hudhud'

Bhubaneswar, Oct 9: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik today urged Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley to issue standing instructions to defence forces, especially Indian Air Force (IAF), to remain in readiness to extend support to the state administration for rescue and relief operations after the cyclonic storm Hudhud touches the landmass.

'The defence units located in and around Odisha may be directed to provide all possible support to civil authorities for effective management of disasters, as and when any request to that effect is made by the state administration,' said Patnaik in a letter to the Defence minister.

Emphasising that a natural calamity requires the support of defence forces, Patnaik said the defence services had extended commendable cooperation to the state government in relief and rescue operations during Phailin.

As the IMD had predicted that the cyclone is likely to affect the southern and coastal parts of Odisha, the chief minister said the districts likely to be affected have been asked to ensure all preparedness, including evacuation of people living in vulnerable areas to the cyclone shelters.

'The NDRF 3rd battalion at Mundali in Odisha has also been roped in for their deployment to undertake the required search and rescue operation along with ODRAF,' said Patnaik.

Meanwhile, the chief minister presided over a review meeting this morning to take stock of the preparedness level of different departments to face the cyclonic storm. Mock drill will be held at 320 multi-purpose cyclone shelters in the state, he said.

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