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Last Updated : May 01, 2019 07:51 PM IST | Source: PTI

19 districts of Odisha, Bengal, AP to be hit by 'extremely severe' cyclone Fani

Around 900 cyclone shelters have been made ready to house evacuees while troops of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and 78 teams of the National Disaster response Force (NDRF) have been requisitioned for deployment.

At least 19 districts of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, besides Kolkata are likely to be affected by "extremely severe" cyclonic storm "Fani", which is approaching India's eastern coast and is likely to hit south of Puri on May 3, officials said.

Around 900 cyclone shelters have been made ready to house evacuees while troops of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and 78 teams of the National Disaster response Force (NDRF) have been requisitioned for deployment.

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), the country's top body to handle an emergency situation, on Wednesday reviewed the preparedness for "Fani", which is likely to hit south of Puri in Odisha on Friday, a home ministry official said.

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At a meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha and attended by the representatives of the state and central ministries and the agencies concerned, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that "Fani" was expected to touch the Odisha coast, south of Puri, on Friday afternoon with wind speeds ranging up to 180 km per hour, causing heavy rainfall in the coastal districts.

The storm is likely to impact the coastal districts of Odisha, including Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Balasore. In West Bengal, it will affect East and West Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Jhargram districts and Kolkata and in Andhra Pradesh, Srikakulam, Vijayanagram and Visakhapatnam districts, an official said.

The IMD conveyed to the NCMC that the storm may surge about 1.5 metres in height and may inundate the low-lying coastal areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha at the time of landfall.

The Navy and the Coast Guard have deployed ships and helicopters for relief-and-rescue operations while the Army and Air Force units in the three states have also been put on standby, an official statement said.

The NDRF has deployed 12 teams in Andhra Pradesh, 28 in Odisha and six teams in West Bengal. Additionally, 32 teams are kept on standby. The teams are equipped with boats, tree cutters, telecom equipment etc. One NDRF team consists of 45 personnel.

The Odisha government has informed that around 900 cyclone shelters have been made ready to house the evacuees and it has requested for two helicopters to be stationed in the state for emergency food distribution. The cabinet secretary directed the Ministry of Defence to meet the requirements of the Odisha government.

Reviewing the preparedness of the state and central agencies, the cabinet secretary directed that all necessary measures be taken to complete the evacuation of people from the areas in the cyclone path and to maintain adequate quantities of essential supplies such as food, drinking water, medicines etc.

Officers of the state governments concerned apprised the NCMC of the preparatory measures put in place for dealing with the cyclonic storm.

Sinha advised all concerned to make adequate preparations to ensure the maintenance of essential services such as power, telecommunications.

The railways, civil aviation and shipping ministries were advised to review their preparedness well in time and ensure quick resumption of services in the event of any disruption.

The state governments have issued advisories and are ensuring that fishermen do not venture into the sea. The IMD has been issuing bulletins every three hours with the latest forecast to all the states concerned. The home ministry is also in continuous touch with the state governments and the central agencies concerned.

The chief secretaries and principal secretaries of the Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal governments participated in the NCMC meeting through video-conference. Senior officers from the ministries of home, shipping, civil aviation, railways, fisheries, power, telecommunications, defence, drinking water and sanitation, food processing, health, besides those of the IMD, NDMA and NDRF also attended the meeting.

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First Published on May 1, 2019 07:34 pm
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