NEW DELHI :
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday chaired a high level meeting with officials of the Union home ministry and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), to review the arising cyclone situation in various parts of the country.
While the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has informed that the Super Cyclone is expected to make a landfall on West Bengal coast on the afternoon of 20 May as an extremely severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds ranging up to 195 kmph, it is likely to result in spells of very heavy rainfall and subsequent heavy damage in the coastal districts of the state.
"As far as NDRF is concerned, 37 teams have been deployed across Odisha and West Bengal. In Odisha the deployment is in seven districts and six in West Bengal. The teams have started and awareness drive already. This is a dual challenge because it is a cyclone in times of Covid," said the director general of the National Disaater Response Force, SN Pradhan.
In West Bengal, districts of East Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, and Kolkata are likely to be worst affected. The storm is also likely to impact coastal districts of North Odisha including Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak and Balasore.
The IMD has also warned of storm surge of about 4-5 meters height above the astronomical tide, which would inundate low lying coastal areas of South & North 24 Parganas, and 3-4 meters height in East Medinipur, districts of West Bengal at the time of landfall, with potential to cause extensive damage in the Coastal Districts of West Bengal.
"The Prime Minister has directed that all necessary measures be taken to complete evacuation of people from areas in cyclone path and maintain adequate quantities of essential supplies," the Union home ministry said in a statement.
"All concerned have been advised to make adequate preparations to ensure maintenance of essential services such as Power, Telecommunications in the event of damages caused to them and also to review their preparedness well in time and ensure quick resumption of services in the event of any disruption," the ministry stated, adding that the Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have also deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations. Army and Air Force units in these states have also been put on standby.