Cabinet Secretary Sh. P. K. Sinha again today reviewed the preparedness of States and Central Ministries/Agencies concerned to deal with the situation arising out of the Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm “FANI”.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that FANI is expected to touch Odisha coast south of Puri on the morning of 3rd May with wind speeds ranging up to 180 kmph causing heavy rainfall and storm surge in the coastal districts of the State.
The storm is likely to impact coastal districts of Odisha including Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Balasore. In West Bengal, districts of East & West Medinipur, South & North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogly, Jhargram and Kolkata alongwith Srikakulam, Vijayanagram and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh are likely to be affected.
IMD also warned of storm surge of about 1.5 meter height which may inundate low lying coastal areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha at the time of landfall.
Reviewing the preparedness of the State and Central Agencies, Cabinet Secretary directed that people from vulnerable areas be moved to safer places, cyclone shelters and make provision for essential food, drinking water and medicines.
Officers of concerned State Governments apprised the NCMC of preparatory measures put in place for dealing with cyclonic Storm.
Odisha informed that 10,000 villages and 52 towns located in 9 districts will be affected. Action on evacuation is already being taken by Odisha Government. Around 900 cyclone shelters have been made ready to house the evacuees. It is estimated that a total of 11.5 lakh people will have to be moved to safer areas, of which about 3.3 lakh people have already been evacuated. Arrangements have been made to warn people of the impending cyclone through announcements over public address systems, mass SMS and local media. Teams of NDRF and ODRAF have been put in place.
Cabinet Secretary directed for establishment of a central toll free helpline for the general public. He also asked the central Ministries to set up control rooms to coordinate rescue and relief operations. He advised all concerned to make adequate preparations to ensure maintenance of essential services in the event of damages caused to them.
Civil Aviation Ministry informed that flight operations from Bhubaneswar will be suspended from midnight of 2nd May. Operations from Kolkata airport also will remain suspended from morning of 3rd May and resumed as soon the conditions improve. Railways have already suspended operations of trains in Odisha.
Power Ministry has made arrangements to restore power supply in affected areas with least downtime. While Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry has made arrangements to move additional water supplies in the affected areas, Health ministry has mobilized Emergency Medical Teams, medicines and also coordinated with the Red Cross to provide assistance. Deptt of Telecommunication has issued orders to all operators to allow free SMS for cyclone related messages and inter-operability of mobile networks by other operators. Petroleum Ministry has ensured availability of sufficient stocks of petroleum and oil in the affected areas.
Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations. Army and Air Force units in the three States have also been put on standby
IMD has been issuing hourly bulletins with latest forecast to all the concerned States. MHA is also in continuous touch with the State Governments and the Central Agencies concerned.
Chief Secretaries/Principal Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal participated in the NCMC Meeting through Video Conference. Senior Officers from the Ministries of Home Affairs, Shipping, Civil Aviation, Railways, Petroleum and natural Gas, Power, Telecommunications, Defence, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Food Processing, Health, IMD, NDMA and NDRF also attended the meeting.