The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) has met and under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary Shri Rajiv Gauba, reviewed preparedness for the impending cyclone in the Bay of Bengal. 

The Director General, of India Meteorological Department (IMD), briefed the Committee about the current status of the depression over the central Bay of Bengal, about 800 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh) and 810 km south of Canning (West Bengal). This was on Friday.

Today, it is very likely to move northeastwards and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm by night of 25th May. 

Thereafter, it will move nearly northwards and is very likely to cross Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal coasts between Sagar Island and Khepupara around 26th May midnight as a severe cyclonic storm with wind speed of 110-120 kmph gusting to 130 kmph from the evening of 26th May. 

The Chief Secretary of West Bengal apprised the Committee of the preparatory measures being taken to protect the population in the expected path of the cyclonic storm and measures being taken by the local administration. Fishermen have been asked not to venture out into the sea and those at sea have been called to safe berth. District Control Rooms have also been activated and are monitoring the situation. Adequate shelters, power supply, medicine, and emergency services have been kept in readiness.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 12 teams and 5 additional teams are kept on standby. Rescue and relief teams of the Army, Navy, and Coast Guard along with ships and aircraft have been kept in readiness. Regular alerts and advisories are being sent by DG, Shipping to the ports of Kolkata and Paradip. Emergency teams have been deployed by M/o Power for immediate power restoration. 

Reviewing the preparedness measures of the Central Agencies and Government of West Bengal, Cabinet Secretary stressed that all necessary preventive and precautionary measures may be taken by the State Government and Central Agencies. The aim should be to keep the loss of lives to zero and minimize damage to property and infrastructure such as power and telecom, and in case of damage, the essential services should be restored in the shortest possible time.

The Cabinet Secretary said that it must be ensured that the fishermen at sea are called back and people from vulnerable areas are evacuated well in time. He asked the Government of West Bengal to review the placement of large hoardings in the areas likely to be affected by the cyclonic storm.  The Cabinet Secretary assured the Government of West Bengal that all Central agencies are on full alert and will be available for assistance.

The meeting was attended by the Chief Secretary of West Bengal, Union Home Secretary, Secretaries in the Ministries of Power, Telecom, Ports Shipping & Waterways, Petroleum & Natural Gas and Department of Fisheries besides Member Secretary National Disaster Management Authority, Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC), Director General India Meteorological Department, Director General National Disaster Response Force, Director General Coast Guard and senior officers from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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