Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday reviewed the preparedness to deal with the situation arising out of the likely formation of Cyclone Jawad that is expected to hit the North Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coast and directed officials to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has stated that a low-pressure region in the Bay of Bengal is expected to intensify into Cyclone Jawad, which is likely to reach the coast of North Andhra Pradesh-Odisha around the morning of December 4, with the wind speed ranging up to 100 kilometres per hour.
Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness of the states, central ministries and agencies concerned to deal with the situation arising out of the likely formation of Cyclone Jawad, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said in a statement. He directed officials to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated and the maintenance of all essential services such as power, telecommunications, health, drinking water etc., and that they are restored immediately in the event of any disruption, the PMO said.
Modi further asked them to ensure adequate storage of essential medicines and supplies and to plan for unhindered movement. He also directed for 24×7 functioning of control rooms. The cyclone is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal. The IMD has been issuing regular bulletins with the latest forecast to all the states concerned, the statement said.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba has reviewed the situation and preparedness with the chief secretaries of all the coastal states and the central ministries and agencies concerned, the PMO said. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is reviewing the situation 24×7 and is in touch with the states, Union territories and the central agencies concerned. The MHA has already released the first installment of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) in advance to all the states, the statement said.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has pre-positioned 29 teams equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipments etc. in the states and has kept 33 teams on standby, it said. The Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief, search and rescue operations. The Air Force and the engineer task force units of the Army, with boats and rescue equipment, are on standby for deployment, the PMO said.
Surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out serial surveillance along the coast, and disaster relief teams and medical teams are on standby at locations along the eastern coast, it added. The Ministry of Power has activated emergency response systems and is keeping in readiness transformers, diesel generator sets and equipment for immediate restoration of electricity. The Ministry of Communications is keeping all the telecom towers and exchanges under constant watch and is fully geared to restore the telecom network, the statement said.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an advisory to the states and Union territories that are likely to be affected for health sector preparedness and response to COVID-19 in the affected areas, the PMO said. The Ministry of Port, Shipping and Waterways has taken measures to secure all shipping vessels and has deployed emergency vessels, it added.
The states have also been asked to alert industrial establishments such as chemical and petrochemical units near the coast. The NDRF is assisting the state agencies in their preparedness for evacuating people from the vulnerable locations and is also continuously holding community awareness campaigns on how to deal with the cyclonic situation.
The meeting chaired by Modi was attended by the principal secretary to the prime minister, the cabinet secretary, the home secretary, the director general (DG) of the NDRF and the DG, IMD.