India asked on Tuesday ships and military units to prepare for 'Fani', a cyclone that's barreling towards the country's eastern coast and ma
National Disaster Response Force team on their way to Kathmandu for the rescue operations, at NSCBI Airport in Kolkatay hit four states.
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), the country's lead to manage emergencies, met in Delhi Tuesday for the second time in as many days and reviewed the preparedness in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Odisha and West Bengal.
"The Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations. The Indian Army and the Indian Air Force units in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal have also been put on standby," a Home Ministry official said.
Indian Naval ships at Visakhapatnam and Chennai are standing-by to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake Humanitarian Aid Distress Relief (HADR), evacuation, logistic support including providing medical aid, the Navy said in a statement.
" Naval aircraft are also standing-by at the Naval Air Stations INS Rajali at Arakkonam, Tamilnadu and INS Dega at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, casualty evacuation and air drop of relief material to the stranded if required," the Navy said.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 41 teams in Andhra Pradesh (8), Odisha (28) and West Bengal (5). In addition, the NDRF is keeping on standby 13 teams in West Bengal and 10 in Andhra Pradesh, the official said. A team NDRF comprises about 45 personnel.
A Home Ministry statement said based on the decision of the first meeting of the NCMC, headed by Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, the central government has already released advance financial assistance of Rs 1,086 crore to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal to assist them in undertaking preventive and relief measures.
The states have issued advisories and are ensuring that fishermen do not venture into the sea.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has been issuing three hourly bulletins with latest forecast to all the states concerned. The Home Ministry is also in continuous touch with the state governments and the central agencies concerned.
Reviewing the preparedness of the states and central agencies, the cabinet secretary directed that all necessary measures be taken to prevent any loss of life and to keep in readiness essential supplies, including food, drinking water and medicines, the statement said.
He also advised all concerned to make adequate preparations to ensure maintenance of essential services such as power, telecommunications in the event of damages caused to them.
During the meeting, officers of all the state governments concerned confirmed their preparedness to deal with any emerging situation arising out of the cyclonic storm.
The IMD informed that the severe cyclonic storm 'Fani' lay centred this afternoon at about 800 km south of Puri.
According to the IMD, it is 'very likely' to intensify further into an 'extremely severe' cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours and move northwestwards till May 1 evening, and thereafter recurve north-northeastwards and reach Odisha coast by the afternoon of May 3.
Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha, East and West Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogly and Kolkata districts of West Bengal, and Srikakulam and Vijayanagram districts of Andhra Pradesh are likely to be affected according to present indications, the statement said.
Chief secretaries and principal secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal participated in the NCMC Meeting through video conference.
Senior officers from the ministries of home, shipping, fisheries, power, telecommunications, defence, IMD and NDRF also attended the meeting.
The NCMC will meet again Wednesday to take stock of the emerging situation.