With many lives being lost at sea during the Cyclone Taukte, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired a meeting of the the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) over impending Cyclone storm Yaas and directed concerned states to ensure all boats and vessels were on shore before the cyclone hits India’s eastern shore on May 26.
He also stressed on evacuation of people to safer places and protection of Covid-related infrastructure.
The Director General of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), briefed the committee about the latest status of the cyclone, which is expected to reach West Bengal and the adjoining northern Odisha coast by the evening of May 26, with wind speeds ranging from 155 to 165 kmph, accompanied by heavy rainfall and storm surges in the coastal districts of these states, Officials said.
Reviewing the preparedness of the Central and State agencies, Shri Rajiv Gauba stressed that the all measures should be taken in a timely manner so that loss of life and destruction of property is minimized. He emphasised on the early evacuation of people from the areas likely to be affected by the cyclone alongwith ensuring the return of all boats/vessels to the shores,so that there is zero loss of life,” a statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs said.
Gauba is learnt to have stressed that safety of Covid patients be ensured and disruption of functioning of Covid hospitals and centres avoided. He also advised that steps be taken to maintain the generation and movement of oxygen from the cyclone affected areas, to other parts of the country, ofticials said.
“The Cabinet Secretary also said that preparatory arrangements should be made to restore power, telecom and other important services. He directed the concerned agencies to work in close co-ordination and extend all requisite assistance to the States/UTs,” the MHA said.
According to MHA, the chief secretaries of the concerned states apprised the Committee of the preparatory measures put in place to deal with the cyclonic storm. Sources said evacuation of people from the low lying areas is being carried out even as adequate stocks of foodgrains, drinking water and other essential supplies have been arranged and preparations made to maintain essential services such as Power, Telecommunications, etc.
The meeting was attended by the Chief Secretaries and officers of West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar and Puducherry. Secretaries of Ministries of Home, Power, Shipping, Telecom, Petroleum & Natural Gas, Civil Aviation, Fisheries, Chairman Railway Board, Member Secretary NDMA, Chief IDS and DGs of Coast Guard, NDRF and IMD also participated in the meeting.