New Delhi [India], May 22 (ANI): The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba on Saturday chaired a meeting to review the preparedness of Central and State Ministries/Agencies to deal with the predicted cyclonic storm 'Yaas' in the Bay of Bengal.
Director-General of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra briefed the committee about the latest status of cyclone 'Yaas', which is expected to reach West Bengal and the adjoining northern coasts of Odisha by the evening of May 26, with wind speeds ranging from 155 to 165 km per hour, accompanied by heavy rainfall and storm surges in the coastal districts of these states.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed as many as 65 teams in the two states, while 20 more teams of NDRF are on standby. Rescue and relief teams of the Army, Navy and Coast Guard along with ships and aircrafts have also been deployed, informed NCMC in an official press release.
During the meeting, the Chief Secretaries of the concerned states apprised the Committee of the preparatory measures put in place to deal with the cyclonic storm.
According to NCMC, evacuation of people from the low lying areas is being carried out. Adequate stocks of foodgrains, drinking water and other essential supplies have been arranged and preparations made to maintain essential services such as power, telecommunications, etc.
In the media release, NCMC stated that the necessary arrangements are also being made to ensure uninterrupted functioning of hospitals and Covid Care Centres, along with ensuring generation and supply of oxygen to Covid facilities across the country.
Reviewing the preparedness of the Central and State agencies, Rajiv Gauba stressed that all measures should be taken in a timely manner so that loss of lives and destruction of property is minimized. He emphasised on the early evacuation of people from the areas likely to be affected by the cyclone along with ensuring the return of all boats/vessels to the shores so that there is zero loss of life.
Gauba also stressed that the safety of Covid patients be ensured and disruption of the functioning of Covid hospitals and centres avoided. He also advised that steps be taken to maintain the generation and movement of oxygen from the cyclone-affected areas, to other parts of the country.
He also said that preparatory arrangements should be made to restore power, telecom and other important services. He has directed the concerned agencies to work in close coordination and extend all requisite assistance to the States/UTs.
The meeting was attended by Chief Secretaries and officers of West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar and Puducherry. Secretaries of Ministries of Home, Power, Shipping, Telecom, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Civil Aviation, Fisheries, Chairman Railway Board, Member Secretary NDMA, Chief IDS and DGs of Coast Guard, NDRF and IMD also participated in the meeting on Saturday.
Meanwhile, IMD on Saturday informed that a low-pressure area has formed over East Central Bay of Bengal on Saturday morning (0830 hrs IST). It is very likely to concentrate into a depression over East Central Bay of Bengal by May 23 morning. The cyclonic storm is very likely to cross West Bengal and adjoining north Odisha and Bangladesh coasts around the evening of May 26. (ANI)