On Tuesday, Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba chaired the third meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) to review the preparedness of states and central ministries/agencies to deal with the cyclonic storm 'Amphan'.
India Meteorological Department Director-General Mrutyunjaya Mohapatra revealed that Cyclone Amphan in the Bay of Bengal had intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm on Monday. He added that it was expected to further intensify into a super cyclonic storm. According to him, the cyclone would cross Digha in West Bengal and Hatia island in Bangladesh in the afternoon or evening of May 20 with a wind speed of 155-165 km per hour.
Chief Secretary, Odisha and Home Secretary, West Bengal participated in the meeting through video conference and apprised the NCMC of preparatory measures taken by them. They informed that the evacuation of people from the low lying areas is being carried out. All actions have been taken to stock food grains, drinking water and other essential supplies. Teams for maintenance and restoration of power and telecom services have also been positioned.
The meeting was also attended by senior officers from the Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence, Shipping, Power, Telecommunications, Health, IMD, NDMA and NDRF.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting with the Ministry of Home Affairs and National Disaster Management Authority officials to review the Cyclone Amphan situation in various parts of India. Union Home Minister Amit Shah also participated in the meeting. The meeting took stock of the response measures against Cyclone Amphan developing in the Bay of Bengal.
As per the Prime Minister's Office, PM Modi reviewed the preparedness and evacuation plan presented by the National Disaster Response Force. On this occasion, the DG, NDRF mentioned that 25 NDRF teams have been deployed on the ground while 12 others were in reserve. He elaborated that 24 other NDRF teams were on standby in different parts of the country. The PM assured all possible support from the Centre and expressed hope that everyone would remain safe.
Earlier, the IMD issued a rainfall warning for isolated places over the districts of Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, and Kendrapara. As per the IMD, the rainfall which is expected to begin from the evening of May 18 can last for 4 days. The Odisha government has started the process of evacuating people from vulnerable areas and fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea until May 21.