The Odisha government has suspended Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) of Rayagada, Siva Prasad Padhi, for not joining duty despite a government's order cancelling holidays of all employees in the Health Department in view of the Cyclone Fani.
The state government had earlier cancelled the leaves of all the doctors and employees in the Health Department till May 15. Chief District Medical Officers (CDMOs) were directed to monitor the situation in hospitals.
The government had earlier stated that strict action would be taken against senior officials who do not report for duty during the period of emergency.
Following Mr Padhi's suspension, Rayagada District Headquarters Hospital Superintendent has been given the additional duty of CDMO.
"Dr. Shakti Baral Mohanty, DMO-cum-Superintendent, DHH, Rayagada is kept in charge of CDM and PHO, Rayagada in addition to his own duty till joining of a regular CDM and PHO or until further orders, whichever is earlier," a statement issued by the state Health Department on Thursday said.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of a storm surge of about 1.5-meter height which may inundate low lying coastal areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha at the time of landfall.
The government said that 10,000 villages and 52 towns located in 9 districts in Odisha will be affected. Also, the government has already taken action on evacuation. Around 900 cyclone shelters have been made ready to house the evacuees.
It also announced that power supply will be disconnected when the wind speed reaches 50 km/hr as a precautionary measure for the safety of people and equipment. Once the wind speed reduces, power supply shall be restored in a phased manner after necessary checking of electrical installations, it mentioned.
In the wake of Cyclone Fani, fishermen in Penthakata village in Puri were seen leaving their houses for relief centers.
Speaking to ANI, Jayanti, a Red Cross member volunteering at a relief camp in Puri, said, "1,000 people have been evacuated. Many people aren''t willing to come as they are scared their belongings will be stolen. But we''ll evacuate them at any cost. We want zero casualties."
As per the IMD, Cyclone Fani is very likely to cross Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, south of Puri around forenoon today with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph. Landfall process is very likely to continue till noon, it added.