The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) on Friday held a meeting chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, Rajiv Gauba in order to review the preparedness to deal with severe cyclone 'Bulbul' over the Bay of Bengal. The cyclone is likely to affect the coastal districts of West Bengal and neighbouring Odisha. The meeting also witnessed the participation of senior officials of Ministries of Home, Defence, as well as those from IMD and NDRF, and NDMA. The meeting comes after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that cyclone 'Bulbul' had intensified and might cross the West Bengal coast by early morning of November 10. The IMD has also predicted heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the region which might be accompanied by winds reaching up to 110-120 kmph. The IMD added that tidal waves up to 1.5 metre are expected.
In the NCMC meeting, officials of the West Bengal and Odisha government stated that they have made the necessary preparations required by them. They informed that SDRF and Fire Service teams have been positioned, whereas fishing operations have also been suspended and the people living in low lying areas are being evacuated to shelter homes. "14 teams of NDRF have been positioned, additional teams are being deployed at the request of states. Officials of Ministry of Defence intimated that teams of Coast Guard, Indian Navy are already deployed and Army and Air Force are on standby," a press release by the Government of India added. Cabinet Secretary Gauba advised West Bengal and Odisha to take all the measures required to avoid casualties and damage to infrastructure and assured them of all assistance from the central government.
Earlier on Thursday, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Dr PK Mishra held a high-level meeting on Thursday with the Chief Secretaries of Odisha, West Bengal and Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to review their preparedness to deal with the natural calamity. This came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised concern over the situation in light of cyclonic storm ‘Bulbul’. The meeting was attended by the Principal Advisor to the Prime Minister; Secretaries of Home Affairs, and Information and Broadcasting; Member, NDMA, Directors General of India Meteorological Department and NDRF; and senior officers from PMO, Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence. Chief Secretaries and representatives from West Bengal, Odisha, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands joined the meeting through video conference.