Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting on Sunday to review the preparedness of States and Central Ministries/Agencies concerned to deal with the situation arising out of Cyclone 'Yaas'. He directed officials to ensure timely evacuation of those in off-shore activities. PM Modi directed senior officers to work in close coordination with states to ensure the 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, according to a release by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The Prime Minister spoke about the need to ensure that the time duration of outages of power supply and communication network are minimum and are restored swiftly. He also asked officials to ensure proper co-ordination and planning with state governments to ensure no disruptions in Covid treatment and vaccination in hospitals.
PM Modi asserted on the need to involve district administrations in the process of planning and preparedness for better learning from best practices and seamless co-ordination.
According to the PMO, PM Modi 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 by directly reaching out to them and sensitising them.
In a tweet, PM Modi said, "Reviewed the preparedness to tackle Cyclone Yaas. Was briefed on the various efforts to assist people living in the affected areas."
"Emphasised on timely evacuation as well as ensuring power and communications networks are not disrupted. Also emphasised on ensuring COVID-19 treatment of patients in affected areas does not suffer due to the cyclone. Praying for everyone's safety and well-being", PM Modi wrote in a tweet.
PM Modi was informed that the Cabinet Secretary has taken a meeting of National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) on May 22, 2021, with Chief Secretaries of all the Coastal States and Union Territories (UTs) and Central Ministries/ Agencies concerned.
As per the PMO release, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is reviewing the situation on a 24X7 basis and is in touch with the State Governments/UTs and the Central Agencies concerned. The MHA has already released first installment of SDRF in advance to all States.
The NDRF has pre-positioned 46 teams that are equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipment 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 the Eastern coast.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has taken measures to secure all oil installations in the sea and to bring back their shipping vessels to safe harbour. The Ministry of Power has activated emergency response systems and is keeping in readiness transformers, DG sets and equipment for immediate restoration of electricity.
The Ministry of Telecom is keeping all the telecom towers and exchanges under constant watch and is fully geared to restore the telecom network.
The Union Health Ministry has issued advisory to the States/UTs, likely to be affected, for health sector preparedness and response on Covid-19 in affected areas. Ministry of Port, Shipping and Waterways has taken measures to secure all shipping vessels and has deployed emergency vessels (Tugs).
The 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, read the release.
The meeting was attended by 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 and Waterways, Earth Sciences, Chairman Railway Board, Members and Member Secretary of NDMA, Director Generals of IMD and NDRF, and senior officers of PMO, MHA.
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.
(With ANI inputs)