Five teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) being airlifted from Bhatinda in  Punjab to be sent to Gujarat in the wake of Cyclone Nisarga, on June 2, 2020.
Five teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) being airlifted from Bhatinda in Punjab to be sent to Gujarat in the wake of Cyclone Nisarga, on June 2, 2020. IANS

Modi takes stock as Cyclone Nisarga approaches north Maharashtra, south Gujarat

New Delhi, June 2, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took stock of the situation as Cyclone Nisarga over the Arabian Sea approached north Maharashtra and south Gujarat and is expected to cross the coast tomorrow afternoon as a severe cyclonic storm.

Modi urged people to take all possible precautions and safety measures, an official press release said.

"Praying for everyone’s well-being. I urge people to take all possible precautions and safety measures," he said.

The Prime Minister also spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Dadra & Nagar Haveli Administrator Praful K Patel regarding the situation and assured them all support and assistance from the Centre.

Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired the second meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) to review the preparedness of the States concerned and Central Ministries and agencies to deal with Nisarga.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has stated that the cyclone is expected to hit the Maharashtra coast by tomorrow afternoon or evening. High wind speeds ranging up to 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph are expected, accompanied by heavy rainfall and storm surges of 1-2 metres in the coastal districts of the State.

The storm is likely to impact the coastal districts of Raigad, Mumbai, Thane and Palghar in Maharashtra along with Valsad, Navsari, Surat, Bhavnagar and Bharuch districts of Gujarat and the Union Territory of Daman, Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

Officers of the State Governments and the UT apprised the NCMC of preparatory measures taken by them. They also said that adequate stocks of essential supplies were available with them and that all emergency services were in readiness. Bulk SMS facility provided by Telecom Department was being used to warn residents likely to be affected by the cyclone and evacuation of people was also underway.

NDRF has deployed 40 teams in the States and UT and additional teams are also being airlifted. Rescue and relief teams of the Army and Navy along with ships and aircrafts of the Navy and Air Force have been put on standby. Ships of the Coast Guard are already engaged in rescuing fishermen at sea, the release said.

Gauba directed the officials to take all necessary measures to complete evacuation of people from low-lying areas in cyclone path and ensure the return of all fishermen from the sea. Special efforts may be made to ensure that essential medical services to COVID patients are not disrupted. Agencies were also directed to activate contingency plans to ensure safety of power, telecommunication, nuclear, chemical, aviation and shipping infrastructure and assets.

The Additional Chief Secretaries of Maharashtra and Gujarat, and the Adviser to Administrator of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu participated in the meeting through video conference. Senior officers from the Ministries of Home Affairs, Shipping, Power, Railways, Telecommunications, Petroleum & Natural Gas, Atomic Energy, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Civil Aviation, Health, IMD, IDS, NDMA and NDRF also attended the meeting.


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