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Odisha sends rescue teams to 7 districts as IMD issues cyclone warning

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The Odisha government on Saturday put seven districts on high alert as the IMD predicted the formation of a cyclonic storm over Bay of Bengal, which may then move towards the southern part of the state and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, a top official said.


The government has rushed rescue teams to the vulnerable areas and asked officials to evacuate people from low-lying areas, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena stated.





As many as 42 teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and 24 squads of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), along with fire brigade personnel, have been dispatched to the seven districts — Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Kandhamal.


Ganjam is expected to get severely affected by the cyclonic storm, and 15 rescue teams have been deployed in that area alone, Jena said.


Besides, 11 fire service units, six teams of the ODRAF and eight of the NDRF are in reserve for emergency purposes, he maintained.


The district administrations of Gajapati and Koraput have cancelled holidays and leaves on September 25 and 26. Collectors have directed government officials and employees to be on their toes at respective headquarters to meet any exigency.


According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), a deep depression that lay over north and adjoining central Bay of Bengal has moved westwards at a speed of 14 kmph.


At 8.30 am on Saturday, it was centred around 470 km east-southeast of Gopalpur in Odisha and 540 km east-northeast of Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.


“It (the weather system) is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and move nearly westwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts between Vishakhapatnam and Gopalpur, around Kalingapatnam, by evening of September 26,” the agency noted.


IMD Director General (DG) Dr Mrutunjay Mohapatra said the wind speed of the weather system will vary between 75 kmph to 85 kmph, gusting up to 95 kmph.


“Many low-lying areas will be inundated in the identified districts. Flash flood is feared in the hilly areas of Odisha’s southern region. Urban pockets in Ganjam and Puri could experience waterlogging due to heavy to very heavy and extremely heavy rainfall in parts,” Mohapatra warned.


The state government has cautioned against possible flooding in rivers, landslides in certain areas, along with large-scale inundation, he added.


Jena, on his part, said that the intensity of the cyclone that is likely to approach Odisha and Andhra Pradesh will be akin to ‘Titli’, the storm that battered the state in 2018.


“During the landfall of the cyclone, the wind speed could hover between 90 kmph and 100 kmph. Barring that period, the wind speed all along Sunday is expected to be limited to 70 kmph. Four-five districts will receive heavy rainfall.


“Southern Odisha rivers such as Rushikulya, Nagabali and Vansadhara could swell due to extremely heavy rainfall,” the SRC pointed out.


The weather office stated that light to moderate showers at most places with heavy rainfall at isolated places are expected in Odisha and coastal Andhra Pradesh on Saturday.


There is also a likelihood of light to moderate showers at most places of the state on Sunday with heavy to very heavy rainfall in a few areas and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places in south Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh.


Parts of north interior Odisha, Telangana and Chhattisgarh may also experience heavy rainfall on Sunday.


Similarly, for September 27, the IMD forecast light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy showers at isolated places in Odisha and Telangana and torrential rainfall at isolated places in coastal West Bengal.


Over the next three days, the sea condition will be rough to very rough and fishermen in Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh have been told not to venture into east-central and adjoining northeast Bay of Bengal for safety reasons.

(This story has not been edited by PRESS24 NEWS staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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Podar International School welcomes re-opening of schools in Maharashtra

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], September 25 (ANI/Hunk Golden and Media): As the country starts to settle into a renewed sense of pre-pandemic normalcy, schools across India are planning to open their gates to full corridors and happy faces of students’ basis government directives.

At Podar International Schools across the country, the preparations for re-opening of schools in a safe and smooth manner are underway in full swing and highest standards of safety protocols have been implemented.

Out of 139 Podar International School, 62 schools have partially reopened from grade V onwards in locations across Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka. Podar International School, a pioneer in the field of international education and has been consistently ranked as one of the top 10 international day schools in India.

Harsh Podar, Director, Podar Education Network said, “We welcome the decision of re-opening schools in Maharashtra in a phased manner. For the first time in our 94 year history, all our schools had to remain closed for students. These have been challenging times for all of us. While the teachers at Podar International Schools have received generous appreciation for ensuring that a holistic educational experience continues by conducting virtual lessons, the management at the Podar Education Network has been working tirelessly to ensure that as and when the students return to the classrooms they will be welcomed into a safe and nurturing environment. The network has put into place a very detailed and well-planned safety protocols that will be followed by all the branches of the school.

While there is great enthusiasm about the reopening of schools among students and parents alike, the unfortunate events of the last few months have left parents feeling anxious about the safety of their children when sending them back to school. The transition from online school to offline classes demands a great degree of meticulous planning from the schools. The protocol includes strategies such as a complete redesigning of the seating plans in the classrooms to ensure students are able to maintain social distancing once school resumes. The management is also striving to ensure a safe commute for students to and from school by making their school buses completely safe. This way, parents can rest assured about the safety of their children from the moment they leave for school.”

Some of the safety protocols implemented are:

The windows across the school will be kept constantly open, while school areas will be disinfected on a regular basis. The housekeeping staff at the schools are being provided with intensive training to implement a three-step protocol that begins with fumigation of the entire school, followed by deep cleaning with bleach wash and finally, the staff will regularly disinfect and wipe furniture fixtures, doors, railings, and other common touch points.

The students too will be encouraged to wash their hands with soap on a regular basis besides sanitising and masking. Similarly, at the forefront of the fight will be the school’s security team. This team will ensure anybody entering the school including teachers have a mask on and their temperature is scanned with an IR thermometer. The security team will also ensure the sanitisation of the hands and shoes of anyone entering the school.

As all members of the staff await the reopening of the schools, the teams are continuously working on sensitising students and parents on new safety protocols at Podar International School.

For the school, the safety of the students is their main priority and they promise to do all they can to ensure that the students are safe and happy at school. Podar International School is all set to welcome the children back into their classrooms.

This story is provided by Hunk Golden and Media. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/Hunk Golden and Media)

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(This story has not been edited by PRESS24 NEWS staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

 

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China welcomes Huawei executive home, but silent on freed Canadians

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Chinese state media welcomed telecoms giant Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, back to the “motherland” on Saturday, after more than 1,000 days under house arrest in Canada, on what they called unfounded charges of bank fraud.


But they have kept silent about Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the two Canadians released from Chinese custody in an apparent act of reciprocation by Beijing.





Chinese state broadcaster CCTV carried a statement by the Huawei executive, written as her plane flew over the North Pole, avoiding U.S. airspace.


Her eyes were “blurring with tears” as she approached “the embrace of the great motherland”, Meng said. “Without a strong motherland, I wouldn’t have the freedom I have today.”


Meng was arrested in December 2018 in Vancouver after a New York court issued an arrest warrant, saying she tried to cover up attempts by Huawei-linked companies to sell equipment to Iran in breach of U.S. sanctions.


After more than two years of legal wrangling, she was finally allowed to leave Canada and fly back to China on Friday, after securing a deal with U.S. prosecutors.


Huawei, founded by Meng’s father Ren Zhengfei, said in a statement that it “looked forward to seeing Ms. Meng returning home safely to be reunited with her family.” It said it would continue to defend itself against U.S. charges.


Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, detained by Chinese authorities just days after Meng’s arrest, were released a few hours later, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said.


State news agency Xinhua formally acknowledged the end of Meng’s house arrest on Saturday, attributing her release to the “unremitting efforts of the Chinese government”.


Hu Xijin, editor in chief of the Global Times tabloid backed by the ruling Communist Party, wrote on Twitter that “international relations have fallen into chaos” as a result of Meng’s “painful three years”.


He added, “No arbitrary detention of Chinese people is allowed.”


However, neither Hu nor other media have mentioned the release of Spavor and Kovrig, and reactions on China’s Twitter-like Weibo social media platform have been few and far between.


The foreign ministry has not commented publicly.


China has previously denied engaging in “hostage diplomacy”, insisting that the arrest and detention of the two Canadians was not tied in any way to the extradition proceedings against Meng.


Spavor was accused of supplying photographs of military equipment to Kovrig and sentenced to 11 years in jail in August. Kovrig had still been awaiting sentencing.


 


(Reporting by David Stanway in Shanghai; Additional reporting by David Kirton in Shenzhen; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and William Mallard)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the PRESS24 NEWS staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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PRESS24 NEWS has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

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Support quality journalism and subscribe to PRESS24 NEWS.

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Vaccine Diplomacy! PM Modi tells Quad that India will allow export of 8 million Indo-Pacific Covid 19 vaccine doses

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