Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Tuesday chaired the third meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) to review the preparedness of States and Central Ministries/Agencies to deal with the Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) has stated that the Super Cyclone is expected to impact the West Bengal coast by the afternoon/evening of May 20. Very high wind speeds ranging up to 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph are expected, accompanied by heavy rainfall and storm surges of 4-5 metres in the coastal districts of the State. Districts of East Medinipur, South & North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, and Kolkata are expected to be impacted. The damage potential of the cyclone is expected to be higher than that of Cyclone ‘Bulbul’, which hit the West Bengal Coast on November 9, last year.
The cyclone will also bring heavy rainfall, squally winds and storm surges in the coastal districts of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Balasore in Odisha.
Chief Secretary, Odisha and Additional Chief Secretary, West Bengal apprised the NCMC of preparatory measures taken by them. They informed that evacuation of people from the low-lying areas is being carried out. All actions have been taken to stock food grains, drinking water and other essential supplies. Teams for maintenance and restoration of Power and Telecom services have also been positioned, according to the official release.
Reviewing the preparedness of the States and Central Agencies, Cabinet Secretary asked the State Governments to ensure timely and complete evacuation of people from low lying areas in cyclone path and maintain adequate quantities of essential supplies such as food, drinking water and medicines etc. They were also advised that teams for road clearance and other restoration work be kept ready, the statement said.
36 teams of NDRF are currently deployed in both the States. Rescue and relief teams of the Army and Navy along with ships and aircrafts of the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard have been put on standby. Officials from agencies of the Department of Telecommunications and Ministry of Power are also deployed in the States to ensure maintenance of essential services.
Chief Secretary, Odisha and Home Secretary, West Bengal participated in the meeting through Video Conference. Senior Officers from the Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence, Shipping, Power, Telecommunications, Health, IMD, NDMA and NDRF also attended the meeting.