Cyclone ‘Yaas’ to hit WB, Odisha with high wind speed, PM reviews preparedness

at 2:04 pm
Satellite picture of Cyclone 'Yaas'

New Delhi (NVI) Cyclone ‘Yaas’ is expected to cross West Bengal and north Odisha coasts by the evening of May 26 with the wind speed ranging between 155 and 165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph and cause heavy rainfall, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.

The information was provided by the IMD officials to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he reviewed preparedness of states and central ministries and agencies concerned to deal with the situation arising out of the cyclone, an official release said.

The IMD also predicted a storm surge of about 2-4 metres in coastal areas of West Bengal & Odisha and said it 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) yesterday, 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, the release said.

MHA has already released first installment 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 10 teams have been kept on standby, it said.

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. 

Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has taken measures to secure all oil installations in the sea and to bring back their shipping vessels to the harbor for safety.

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 Port, Shipping and Waterways has taken measures to secure all shipping vessels and has deployed emergency vessels (Tugs), it said.

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. 

After taking stock of the 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, the release said.

He spoke about the need to ensure that time duration of outages of power supply and communication network are minimum and are restored swiftly.

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.

PM directed officials that advisories and instructions on do’s and don’ts during the cyclone be made available in easy to understand and local language to citizens of the affected districts.

PM spoke about the need to involve various stakeholders, like coastal communities and industries, by directly reaching out to them and sensitising them.