Modi reviews preparedness to deal with Cyclone Tauktae
New Delhi, May 15, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a high-level meeting here today to review the preparedness of the States concerned, the Central Government and other agencies to deal with Cyclone Tauktae, which is heading towards Gujarat, and directed senior officers to ensure that people are safely evacuated.
He also urged them to ensure maintenance of all essential services such as power, telecommunications, health and drinking water, among other things.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast that the cyclone is likely to cross the Gujarat coast, between Porbandar and Naliya, in the afternoon or evening of May 18.
The meeting noted that the Cabinet Secretary is in continuous touch with Chief Secretaries of all the coastal States and Central Ministries/ agencies concerned.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is reviewing the situation 24x7 and is in touch with the State Governments, Union Territories (UTs) and the Central Agencies concerned.
MHA has already released first instalment of State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) in advance to all States.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has pre-positioned 42 teams, which are equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipment, and so on, in six States and has kept 26 teams on standby.
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 Army, with boats and rescue equipment, are on standby for deployment. Seven ships with Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Units are on standby along the 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 meeting was informed.
Ministry of Power has activated emergency response systems and is keeping in readiness transformers, DG sets and equipments etc. for immediate restoration of electricity. Ministry of Telecom is keeping all the telecom towers and exchanges under constant watch and is fully geared to restore telecom network. Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued advisory to the States/ UTs, likely to be affected, for health sector preparedness and response on COVID in affected areas. They have also kept ready 10 Quick response medical teams and 5 Public health response teams, with emergency medicines. Ministry of Port, Shipping and Waterways has taken measures to secure all shipping vessels and has deployed emergency vessels (Tugs).
NDRF is assisting the State agencies in their preparedness for evacuating people from the vulnerable locations and is also continuously holding community awareness campaign on how to deal with the cyclonic situation.
"After review, 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 etc. and are restored immediately in the event of damages caused to them.
"He further directed them 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. He also said that special care needs to be taken to ensure that there is least possible disruption in oxygen supply from Jamnagar. He also spoke about the need to involve the local community for timely sensitisation and relief measures," an official press release said.
The meeting was attended by, among others, Home Minister Amit Shah, and top officials including the Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, and Secretaries of the concerned Ministries and Departments.