New Delhi, May 15 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday took a high-level meeting to review the preparedness to deal with the situation arising out of cyclone ‘Tauktae’.
The Prime Minister directed senior officers to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated by the state governments and to ensure maintenance of all essential services such as power, telecommunications, health, drinking water and are restored immediately in the event of damages caused to them.
The Prime Minister further directed officials to ensure special preparedness on Covid management in hospitals, vaccine cold chain and other medical facilities on power back up and storage of essential medicines and to plan for unhindered movement of oxygen tankers.
He also directed for 24X7 functioning of control rooms. “Special care needs to be taken to ensure that there is least possible disruption in oxygen supply from Jamnagar,” the Prime Minister said.
He also spoke about the need to involve the local community for timely sensitisation and relief measures.
In the meeting, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that Cyclone ‘Tauktae’ is expected to touch the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Naliya on May 18 afternoon or evening with the wind speed ranging upto 175 kmph.
“It is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of Gujarat, including extremely heavy falls in Junagadh and Gir Somnath and heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places in the districts of Saurashtra Kutch and Diu namely Gir Somnath, Diu, Junagadh, Porbandar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Amreli, Rajkot, Jamnagar,” the IMD informed.
The IMD also warned of storm surge of about two-three metres above astronomical tide to inundate coastal areas of Morbi, Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka and Jamnagar districts and one-two metres along Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar and 0.5 to one metre over the remaining coastal districts of Gujarat during May 18 afternoon/ evening around the time of landfall. The IMD has been issuing three hourly bulletins since May 13 with the latest forecast to all the concerned States.
In a statement the PMO said, it was discussed that Cabinet Secretary is in continuous touch with Chief Secretaries of all the Coastal States and Central Ministries and Agencies concerned.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is reviewing the situation 24X7 and is in touch with the State Governments/ UTs and the Central Agencies concerned. The MHA has already released the first instalment of SDRF in advance to all States. NDRF has pre-positioned 42 teams which are equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipment in six States and has kept 26 teams on standby.
The 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 the 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. Surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out serial surveillance along the western coast. Disaster Relief teams (DRTs) and Medical Teams (MTs) are standby at Trivandrum, Kannur and other locations along western coast.
The Ministry of Power has activated emergency response systems and is keeping in readiness transformers, DG sets and equipment etc. 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 telecom networks.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued an advisory to the States/ UTs, likely to be affected, for health sector preparedness and response on Covid in affected areas. The Health Ministry has also kept 10 Quick response medical teams and 5 Public health response teams ready, with emergency medicines.
The 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 campaigns on how to deal with the cyclonic situation.