The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, met on Wednesday, December 1 to review the preparedness for the impending Cyclone Jawad in the Bay of Bengal region that is likely to affect Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal. The top bureaucrat of the country directed various central and state agencies to "avoid any loss of life and minimise damage to property, infrastructure and crops".
"The Cabinet secretary also emphasised that state governments should make all efforts to ensure that fishermen and all vessels at sea are called back immediately and people in areas likely to be affected by the cyclonic storm are evacuated at the earliest," a statement by the Union Home Ministry said. The director general of India Meteorological Department (IMD) briefed the NCMC about the current status of a low-pressure area in the Bay of Bengal, which is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm by December 3.
"It is expected to cross the coasts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha by the morning of December 4 with wind speeds ranging from 90 kmph-100 kmph, accompanied by heavy rainfall and tidal waves. The cyclonic storm is likely to affect Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh and coastal districts of Odisha. It is also likely to bring heavy to very heavy rainfall in the coastal areas and Gangetic parts of West Bengal," the statement said.
The meeting was informed that the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 32 teams in these states with additional teams being kept in readiness. Rescue teams of the Army and Navy along with ships and aircraft are ready for deployment if required.
Chief secretaries and senior officers from Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands apprised the committee about "the preparatory measures being undertaken to protect the population in the expected path of the cyclonic storm as also measures being taken to ensure that there is minimal damage to infrastructure in the aftermath of the storm."
Gauba "assured the state governments that all central agencies are ready and will be available for assistance".
Officials from the ministries of home, ports, shipping and waterways, power, oil, department of fisheries, telecommunications, the NDRF, IMD, chief of integrated defence staff and the National Disaster Management Authority attended the meeting.
Meanwhile, the IMD issued a "pre-cyclone watch" for north Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coasts as a cyclonic storm is likely to approach around December 4 morning. However, the department is yet to predict the possible location of landfall of the impending cyclone.
Under its impact, heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur in many parts of coastal and interior Odisha from December 3 to 6 morning. According to the IMD, heavy rainfall is very likely to occur at isolated places over the districts of Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri and Jagatsinghpur on December 3.
On December 4, Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Khordha, Nayagarh, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Bhadrak, Balasore, and Jajpur districts are likely to experience heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy falls at one or two places over the districts of Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, and Jagatsinghpur. Predicting heavy downpour, an orange warning (be prepared) has also been issued for Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Cuttack, and Puri for December 5.
Squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph, gusting to 65 kmph, is likely to commence along and off north Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coast from the midnight of December 3 and increase gradually becoming 70-80 kmph, with gusting to 90 kmph, from December 4 afternoon for the subsequent 12 hours, the IMD said.
The sea condition will be rough to very rough over along and off north Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coast from December 3 midnight and become high to very high from December 4 afternoon, for the subsequent 12 hours. In view of this, the fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea and those who are at mid sea have been advised to return to the coast by the morning of December 2.
With IANS and PTI inputs