Delhi, May 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday took a high level meeting to review the preparedness of States and concerned Central Ministries and agencies to deal with the situation arising out of Cyclone ‘Yaas’.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that Cyclone ‘Yaas’ is expected to cross West Bengal and north Odisha coasts by 26th May evening with the wind speed ranging 155- 165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph. It is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal and north Odisha. IMD has also warned of storm surge of about 2- 4m in costal areas of West Bengal & Odisha. IMD has been issuing regular bulletins with latest forecast to all the concerned states.
The PM was informed that the Cabinet Secretary has taken a meeting of National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) on 22nd May 2021, with Chief Secretaries of all the Coastal States and UTs and Central Ministries/ Agencies concerned.
Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is reviewing the situation 24×7 and is in touch with the State Governments/ UTs and the Central Agencies concerned. MHA has already released first instalment of SDRF in advance to all States. NDRF has pre-positioned 46 teams which are equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipments etc. in 5 States/ UT. In addition, 13 teams are being airlifted today for deployment and has kept 10 teams on standby.
Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief, search and rescue operations. Air Force and Engineer task force units of Army, with boats and rescue equipment, are on standby for deployment. Seven ships with Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Units are on standby along western coast.
The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has taken measures to secure all oil installations in the sea and to bring back their shipping vessels to safe harbour. Ministry of Power has activated emergency response systems and is keeping in readiness transformers, DG sets and equipments etc. for immediate restoration of electricity. Ministry of Telecom is keeping all the telecom towers and exchanges under constant watch and is fully geared to restore telecom network. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued advisory to the Sates/ UTs, likely to be affected, for health sector preparedness and response on COVID in affected areas. Ministry of Port, Shipping and Waterways has taken measures to secure all shipping vessels and has deployed emergency vessels (Tugs).
NDRF is assisting the State agencies in their preparedness for evacuating people from the vulnerable locations and is also continuously holding community awareness campaign on how to deal with the cyclonic situation.
PM Modi directed senior officers to work in close co-ordination with states to ensure safe evacuation of people from high-risk areas. He also instructed all concerned departments to ensure timely evacuation of those involved in off-shore activities.
He spoke about the need to ensure that time duration of outages of power supply and communication network are minimum and are restored swiftly.
The PM also asked officials to ensure proper co-ordination and planning with state governments to ensure no disruptions in Covid treatment and vaccination in hospitals. He also spoke about the need to involve district administrations in the process of planning and preparedness for better learning from best practices and seamless co-ordination.
The PM directed officials that advisories and instructions on do’s and dont’s during the cyclone be made available in easy to understand and local language to citizens of the affected districts. He spoke about the need to involve various stakeholders i.e. coastal communities, industries, etc by directly reaching out to them and sensitising them.
The meeting was attended by Union Home Minister, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries of Ministries/ Departments of Home, Telecommunications, Fisheries, Civil Aviation, Power, Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Earth Sciences, Chairman Railway Board, Members & Member Secretary of NDMA, Director Generals of IMD and NDRF, and senior officers of PMO, MHA.