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SOURCE: PTI

The Integrated Test Range of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has taken various measures to protect its facilities at Chandipur and Abdul Kalam Island in Odisha, which are likely to be affected by cyclone ‘Yaas’, an official said on Tuesday.

A scientist at the Regional Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar earlier in the day said that landfall will most likely be between Dhamra and Chandbali in Bhadrak district. The ITR of the  (DRDO) has three missile launch pads at Chandipur and one launch complex at Abdul Kalam Island, besides two separate mission control rooms and block houses.

The island, known for its strategic location for test-launching of all long-range missiles, is 80 nautical miles (110 km) from the ITR, and more likely to be impacted by the cyclone, the official said.

The control room and block house, however, have been designed to withstand wind speeds up to 400 km, sources said.

“We have prepared for the very severe cyclonic storm, and are implementing the standard operating procedures prepared by DRDO. We are ready to face any eventuality,” Milan Kumar Pal, the spokesperson of the ITR facility, told PTI.

While the safety of critical installations has been ensured, vital equipment are stored inside laboratories, he said.

The DRDO had launched the missile testing facility in 1982 as a project under the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP).

Since the 1999 super cyclone, the testing range has withstood over a dozen similar storms, including ‘Amphan’ and ‘Bubul’ in the recent past.