The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday took stock of the preparedness of states, central ministries and other agencies for Cyclone ‘Yaas’. He directed senior central government officials to work in close coordination with states to ensure safe evacuation of people from high-risk areas.

In a high-level meeting, 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 time duration of outages of power supply and communication network are minimum and are restored swiftly.

“ PM 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. He directed officials that advisories and instructions on do’s and dont’s during the cyclone be made available in easy-to-understand and local language to citizens of the affected districts,” an official PMO statement added.

The meeting was attended by the 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 and Earth Sciences. The Chairman of the Railway Board, Members & Member Secretary of NDMA, Director Generals of IMD and NDRF along with other senior officials were also present.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), Cyclone ‘Yaas’ is expected to cross West Bengal and north Odisha coasts by the evening of May 26 and is likely to cause heavy rainfall and storm surge in the coastal districts of West Bengal and north Odisha.

Cyclone ‘Yaas’ preparedness

Officials of the Home Affairs Ministry have been reviewing the situation consistently and are closely working with State Governments/ UTs and the concerned Central Agencies. “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 among others in 5 States/ UT. In addition, 13 teams are being airlifted today for deployment with 10 teams on standby,” the statement added.

Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief, search and rescue operations while 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 also on standby along the western coast. NDRF is also assisting the State agencies in their preparedness for evacuating people from the vulnerable locations, the statement added.

Meanwhile, 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. Ministry of Power has activated emergency response systems and readiness for immediate restoration of electricity and the Telecom Ministry is closely monitoring telecom towers and exchanges.

“Ministry of Health & Family Welfare has issued advisory to the Sates/ UTs, likely to be affected, for health sector preparedness and response on COVID in affected areas. Ministry of Port, Shipping and Waterways has taken measures to secure all shipping vessels and has deployed emergency vessels (Tugs),” the statement added.

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