New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed the preparedness of states, central ministries and agencies concerned to deal with the situation arising out of cyclone Tauktae and asked them to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated.
He also called for ensuring maintenance of all essential services such as power, telecommunications, health and drinking and their immediate restoration in the event of damages caused to them, a statement said.
At the high-level meeting which was attended by Home Minister Amit Shah and top officials concerned, Modi 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, the PMO said.
'He (PM) 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,' it added.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said at the meeting that cyclone Tauktae is expected to touch Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Naliya around May 18 afternoon or evening with a wind speed ranging up to 175 kmph.
It is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of Gujarat, including extremely heavy falls in Junagadh and Gir Somnath and heavy to very heavy rain at a few places in the districts of Saurashtra, Kutch and Diu, namely Gir Somnath, Diu, Junagadh, Porbandar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Amreli, Rajkot, Jamnagar.
The IMD also warned of storm surge of about two-three metre above astronomical tide to inundate coastal areas of Morbi, Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka and Jamnagar districts and one-two metre along Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar and 0.5 to one metre over the remaining coastal districts of Gujarat, the statement said.
The IMD has been issuing three hourly bulletins since May 13 with latest forecast to all the states concerned.
The PMO noted that the cabinet secretary is in continuous touch with the chief secretaries of all the coastal states and agencies concerned, and the home ministry is reviewing the situation round the clock.
It has already released first instalment of state disaster response fund in advance to states, and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has positioned 42 teams equipped with boats, tree-cutters, telecom equipment among others in six states and has kept 26 teams on standby, the statement said.
Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief, search and rescue operations, it said, adding that the 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 the western coast, while surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out serial surveillance.
A number of ministries, including those of power, telecom, health and family welfare, and port, shipping and waterways, have also taken measures to deal with the evolving situation, the statement said said.
'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,' it added. PTI KR ZMN