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Cyclone Amphan: PM Modi reviewed response preparedness, assured all possible support

Cyclone Amphan: PM Narendra Modi held a high- level meeting on May 18 to monitor the situation and review the preparedness of the states. 

May 18, 2020 19:15 IST
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The Home Ministry stated that cyclone ‘Amphan’ will likely turn into a super cyclonic storm by the evening of May 18 and will hit the coasts of Odisha and West Bengal on May 20.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had earlier informed that the storm has turned extremely severe over the Bay of Bengal.  

As per the Chief of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), SN Pradhan, the trajectory will mostly be towards Sagar islands, West Bengal, and probably towards Bangladesh but the trajectory must be observed very closely by the teams.

PM Modi reviewed the preparedness of the states:

To monitor the situation and review the preparedness, PM Narendra Modi called a high- level meeting on May 18 with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the officials of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The meeting was held to review the preparation of the states in different parts of the country. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed on his official twitter handle that evacuation plans and response measures were discussed during the meet and assured all kind of possible support from the central government. 

Here is the official tweet:

Pm Modi tweet on Amphan cyclone

Key Highlights:

•   The personnel of NDRF was deployed on May 17 to West Bengal and Odisha. As the storm turns severe, it is likely to make a landfall between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya in Bangladesh on May 20.

•   GK Das while talking about the cyclone mentioned that severe cyclonic storm will intensify by the evening of May 18, attaining a maximum speed of 170 to 180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph.

•   The cyclone is likely to unleash heavy rain and winds in the coastal areas of West Bengal and Odisha.

•   Fishermen have already been advised not to venture into north Bay of Bengal and off West Bengal-Odisha Coasts from May 18 to May 21. Those who were out in the sea were asked to return by May 17.

•   Indian Coastal Guards (ICG) have also prepared for maritime search and rescue operations.

•   The AC special trains between New Delhi to Bhubaneshwar have already been diverted for four days from May 18.

•   The National Crisis Management Committee had also met on May 17 to review the preparedness of the states once the cyclone hits.

Amphan Cyclone preparations in Odisha:

Special Relief Commissioner, P K Jena informed that Odisha which has been impacted by the string of cyclones, including cyclone Fani last year, has already made an arrangement to shift 11 lakh people from the vulnerable areas.

12 coastal districts of Odisha- Ganjam, Puri, Gajapati, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Mayubhanj, Balasore, Cuttack, Jajpur, Nayagarh and Khurda have been on high alert by the government because of the cyclone.

He further informed that out of the 809 cyclone shelters in these 12 coastal districts, 242 have currently been used as temporary medical camps for the returnees from the different states during COVID-19 lockdown.

Jena underlined that 567 cyclone and food shelters will be available to house the people in case the evacuation will be required. Additionally, 7092 buildings have also been arranged to keep the people if required.

He also added that NDRF, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), and fire service personnel have also been sent to the districts and the state government has been in constant touch with IMD, Indian Coast Guard and NDRF for any kind of requirement.

In Odisha, 10 teams have already been deployed in the seven districts- Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak, and Balasore. There is 45 personnel in one team of NDRF.

The state has also prepared the strategy to restore water supply and power, start rescue, clear roads, and relief operations immediately after the cyclone hits.

On the issue of migrants returning to the state and traveling through it, Jena stated that the state government will stop the road movement from the evening of May 18 to May 20. The district collectors have already been asked to direct the border check posts to not allow any entry at that time period.

Amphan Cyclone preparations in West Bengal:

The regional MeT director in Kolkata, GK Das informed that a severe cyclonic storm is likely to cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Hatiya islands in Bangladesh and Sagar islands in West Bengal between the afternoon and evening of May 20.

Das also added that under its impact, the coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal, including North and South 24 Parganas, East and West Midnapur, Kolkata, Howrah, and Hoogly can experience light to moderate rain with a heavy downpour in isolated places on May 19.

SN Pradhan, the Chief of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) informed that the seven teams of force have been deployed in West Bengal. The teams are in six districts- North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, West Midnapur, East Midnapur, Hooghly, and Howrah.

Alpan Bandopadhyay, West Bengal Home Secretary informed that the entire state machinery has been prepared to deal with the situation.

The home secretary highlighted that the disaster management teams have been dispatched to cyclone shelters and provisions have been made to ensure the social distancing norms at the shelters in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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