The director general, India Meteorological Department (IMD), briefed the committee on the current status of the weather system in the Bay of Bengal, which is likely to move West-Northwestwards and concentrate into a depression over South East Bay of Bengal by Tuesday evening. Thereafter, it is likely to continue to move West-Northwestwards, intensify further into a cyclonic storm around December 7 evening and reach South West Bay of Bengal off North Tamil Nadu-Puducherry and adjoining South Andhra Pradesh coasts by December 8 morning. It will continue to move West-Northwestwards towards North Tamil Nadu-Puducherry and adjoining South Andhra Pradesh coasts during the subsequent 48 hours.
Chief Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and senior officials from Puducherry apprised the committee of preparatory measures being taken to protect the population in the expected path of the cyclonic storm and measures being taken by the local administration. These include fishermen being asked not to venture out to the sea and calling those at sea back to safe berth and emergency services being kept in readiness.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has made five teams available to Tamil Nadu and three teams for Puducherry as asked for by them and teams are also being kept on standby for Andhra Pradesh to be activated as and when the State government desires.
Rescue and relief teams of the Army and Navy along with ships and aircraft have been kept ready on standby. The Coast Guard is also ready with its ships.
Reviewing preparedness of the states/UT and central agencies, Gauba stressed that preventive and precautionary measures should be taken by the authorities concerned of state/UT governments and the central agencies concerned. The aim should be to keep the loss of lives to zero and minimise damage to property and infrastructure such as power and telecom. Further, in case of damage to this infrastructure, it must be restored in the quickest possible time.
The cabinet secretary assured the state/UT governments that all central agencies were ready and will be available for assistance. (ANI)