'Must ensure essential services': PM Modi reviews preparations on Cyclone Tauktae
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed preparations to deal with the impending Cyclone Tauktae, according to an official press note. The high-level meeting was attended by officials from the states, central ministries, and agencies concerned to deal with the situation arising out of the approaching cyclonic storm. Union home minister Amit Shah was also present.
While reviewing preparations over Cyclone Tauktae, Prime Minister Modi called for ensuring maintenance of all essential services such as power, telecommunications, health, and drinking water and their immediate restoration in the event of damages caused to them, according to a government state.
Issuing an alert over Cyclone Tauktae, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced earlier this day that a deep depression over the Arabian Sea had intensified into the cyclonic storm was currently centered over Lakshadweep island. Tauktae (pronounced Tau’Te) is predicted to intensify further into a 'very severe cyclonic storm’ by Monday, with windspeed ranging between 150kmph and 160kmph. It is very likely to move north-northwestwards and cross the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Naliya around 18th May afternoon/evening.
The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA), under the direct supervision of Amit Shah, is reviewing the Cyclone Tauktae situation 24x7 and is in constant touch with the state governments and central agencies concerned, it was said. The home ministry has already released the first instalment of the state disaster relief fund (SDRF) in advance to all states, the press note read. NDRF has also pre-positioned 42 teams which are equipped with boats, tree-cutters, and telecom equipment in six states and has kept 26 teams on standby, it read.
Prime Minister Modi said that concerned officials must ensure special preparedness on Covid-19 management in hospitals, vaccine cold chain and other medical facilities on power back up and storage of essential medicines and to plan for unhindered movement of oxygen tankers. He also said that special care needs to be taken to ensure that there is the least possible disruption in oxygen supply from Jamnagar and spoke about the need to involve the local community in timely sensitisation and relief measures, the prime minister's office (PMO) said.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said at the meeting that Cyclone Tauktae is expected to touch the Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Naliya around May 18 afternoon or evening with a wind speed ranging up to 175 kmph.
Cyclone Tauktae is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of Gujarat, including extremely heavy falls in Junagadh and Gir Somnath and heavy to very heavy rain at a few places in the districts of Saurashtra, Kutch and Diu, namely Gir Somnath, Diu, Junagadh, Porbandar, Devbhoomi Dwarka, Amreli, Rajkot, Jamnagar.
The IMD also warned of storm surge of about two-three metre above astronomical tide to inundate coastal areas of Morbi, Kutch, Devbhoomi Dwarka and Jamnagar districts and one-two metre along Porbandar, Junagarh, Diu, Gir Somnath, Amreli, Bhavnagar and 0.5 to one metre over the remaining coastal districts of Gujarat, the statement said. The IMD has been issuing three hourly bulletins since May 13 with the latest forecast to all the states concerned.
(With inputs from agencies)