Officials have been asked to minimize time of outages of power and telephone networks

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday reviewed the preparedness of States and Central government ministries and agencies concerned to deal with the situation arising out of Cyclone ‘Yaas’.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclone ‘Yaas’ is expected to cross West Bengal and north Odisha coasts by May 26 evening with the wind speed ranging 155- 165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph.

It is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal and north Odisha.

IMD has also warned of storm surge of about 2- 4m in coastal areas of West Bengal and Odisha. IMD has been issuing regular bulletins with the latest forecast to all the concerned states.

The Prime Minister was informed that the Cabinet Secretary has taken a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) on May 22, 2021, with Chief Secretaries of all the Coastal States and UTs and Central government ministries and agencies concerned.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is reviewing the situation 24*7 and is in touch with the State Governments/ UTs and the Central agencies concerned. The MHA has already released the first installment of SDRF in advance to all States.

NDRF has pre-positioned 46 teams which are equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipment in 5 States/ UT. In addition, 13 teams are being airlifted today for deployment and have kept 10 teams on standby.

The 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 the Army, with boats and rescue equipment, are on standby for deployment. Seven ships with humanitarian assistance and disaster relief units are on standby along western coast.

The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has taken measures to secure all oil installations in the sea and to bring back their shipping vessels to safe harbour.

The Ministry of Power has activated emergency response systems and is keeping in readiness transformers, DG sets and equipment for immediate restoration of electricity. The Ministry of Telecom is keeping all the telecom towers and exchanges under constant watch and is fully geared to restore telecom networks.

The Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued an advisory to the States/ UTs, likely to be affected, for health sector preparedness and response on COVID in affected areas. The 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 campaigns on how to deal with the cyclonic situation.

PM Modi directed senior officers to work in close coordination with states to ensure safe evacuation of people from high-risk areas.

He also instructed all concerned departments to ensure timely evacuation of those involved in off-shore activities. He spoke about the need to ensure that the time duration of outages of power supply and communication networks are minimum and are restored swiftly.

The Prime Minister also asked officials to ensure proper coordination and planning with state governments to ensure no disruptions in Covid treatment and vaccination in hospitals. He also spoke about the need to involve district administrations in the process of planning and preparedness for better learning from best practices and seamless coordination.

PM Modi directed officials that advisories and instructions on do’s and don’ts during the cyclone be made available in easy to understand and local language to citizens of the affected districts.

The Prime Minister spoke about the need to involve various stakeholders i.e. coastal communities, industries by directly reaching out to them and sensitising them.

The meeting was attended by Home Minister, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Cabinet Secretary, Secretaries of Ministries/ Departments of Home, Telecommunications, Fisheries, Civil Aviation, Power, Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Earth Sciences, Chairman Railway Board, Members & Member Secretary of NDMA, Director Generals of IMD and NDRF, and senior officers of PMO, the Ministry of Home Affairs.