New Delhi: Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday reviewed the preparations for Cyclone Vayu, which is expected to make landfall in Gujarat, and directed officials to ensure all possible steps for the safety of people, officials said.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has pre-positioned 39 teams, comprising about 45 rescuers each, in Gujarat and Diu. The teams are equipped with boats, tree-cutters and telecom equipment. As many as 34 teams of the Indian Army are also on standby.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued detailed advisories to Gujarat and Union Territory Diu requesting them to take all precautionary measures with a view to ensure that no human life is lost, damage to vital infrastructure is minimised and there is early recovery of all essential services post-cyclone landfall, a home ministry official said.
Gujarat and Diu authorities have planned to evacuate about three lakh people from identified vulnerable areas starting Wednesday morning. The people will be shifted to around 700 cyclone and relief shelters.
After the review, the home minister directed the senior officials to take every possible measure for the safety of people.
Shah also told them to ensure maintenance of all essential services such as power, telecommunications, health, drinking water and their immediate restoration in the event of any damage to them, the official said.
The ministry is in continuous touch with the state governments and Union territories like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Daman and Diu, which may be affected due to the cyclone.
The Indian Coast Guard, the navy, army and air force units have been put on standby and surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial surveillance, the official said.
The Air Force deployed a C-17 transporter aircraft to carry out Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR) operations.
The Indian Air Force tweeted:
#CycloneVayu : Today a C-17 aircraft of #IAF got airborne from New Delhi to Vijayawada. The aircraft is planned to airlift about 160 personnel of NDRF from Vijayawada to Jamnagar to carry out the #HADR missions for the people affected by the cyclone in Gujarat. #SavingLives pic.twitter.com/V9Z2KuKJ6r
— Indian Air Force (@IAF_MCC) June 11, 2019
Shah also gave instruction for round-the-clock functioning of control rooms.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said Cyclone Vayu is expected to touch Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Mahuva around Veraval and Diu region as a severe cyclonic storm with wind speed of 110-120 kilometres per hour gusting to 135 kilometres per hour during early morning of 13 June, another official said.
It is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of Gujarat with storm surge with a height of about 1-1.5 metres above the astronomical tides likely to inundate the low-lying coastal areas of Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts at the time of landfall.
The IMD has been issuing regular bulletins since 9 April to all the states concerned. The meeting was attended by Union home secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences secretary, and senior officers of the IMD and the MHA.
Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) which reviewed preparedness relating to Cyclone Vayu.
The chief secretary of Gujarat and advisor to administrator Daman and Diu apprised the NCMC of preparatory measures put in place for dealing with the cyclonic storm. The chief secretary said approximately 2.8 lakh people from the vulnerable areas along the coast would be evacuated on Wednesday.
Arrangements have been made to warn people of the impending cyclone through announcements in media and bulk SMS.
Reviewing the preparedness of the state and central agencies, the cabinet secretary directed that people from vulnerable areas be moved to safer places, and essential food, drinking water and medicines be stocked.
All possible measures are to be taken to avoid any human casualty and adequate preparations should be made to restore any damage that may be caused to infrastructure.
Chief secretaries and other officers of Gujarat and Daman, Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli participated in the NCMC meeting through video conference.
Senior officers from the ministries of home, shipping, railways, power, telecommunications, defence, fisheries, IMD, NDMA and NDRF attended the meeting.
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Updated Date: Jun 11, 2019 23:59:40 IST