With Cyclone Fani set to make landfall, the Union home ministry has kicked into action, deploying its paramilitary forces along the Odisha coast as part of its advanced preparedness strategy.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review preparedness for Cyclone Fani, which is currently located 450 kilometres from the coast of Odisha. It is set to make landfall at 5:30 pm tomorrow.
While the meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary P.K Sinha, Principal Secretary to the PM, the Additional Principal Secretary to the PM, the Union Home Secretary, it also saw senior officials from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in attendance.
“The Prime Minister was briefed on the likely path of the cyclone, and the ongoing precautionary and preparatory measures being undertaken. These include provision of adequate resources; deployment of teams from NDRF and the Armed Forces; arrangements to provide drinking water; and standby systems to restore power and telecom services," the statement by the Centre said.
The storm is likely to impact coastal districts of Odisha including Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri, and Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Balasore. In West Bengal, districts of East and West Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogly, Jhargram and Kolkata along with Srikakulam, Vijayanagram and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh are likely to be affected as well.
The IMD has warned of storm surge of about 1.5 meter height which may inundate low lying coastal areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha at the time of landfall.
Reviewing the preparedness of the state and central Agencies, Cabinet Secretary Sinha directed that all necessary measures be taken to complete evacuation of people from areas in the path of the cyclone and maintain adequate quantities of essential supplies such as food, drinking water and medicines.
Civil Aviation minister Suresh Prabhu has asked airports to be on high alert.