Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to review preparedness for Cyclone Fani.
The prime minister was briefed on the likely path of the cyclone, and the ongoing precautionary and preparatory measures being undertaken.
These include provision of adequate resources; deployment of teams from NDRF and the armed forces; arrangements to provide drinking water; and standby systems to restore power and telecom services.
After reviewing the emerging situation, the prime minister instructed senior officers to maintain close coordination with officers of affected states, to ensure preventive measures, and also to take effective steps for relief and rescue operations, as required.
Cyclone Fani is expected to hit the coast of Odisha on Friday. Nearly eight lakh people are being evacuated from low-lying areas of the state as a precautionary measure.
Around 900 cyclone shelters have been made ready to house the evacuees.
The storm is likely to impact coastal districts of Odisha including Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Balasore. In West Bengal, districts of East and West Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogly, Jhargram and Kolkata along with Srikakulam, Vijayanagram and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh are likely to be affected, according to a PIB release.
Over 4,000 specialised personnel as part of 81 NDRF teams have been deployed to deal with the ‘extremely severe’ cyclone ‘Fani’ which is likely to affect Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal upon its landfall on Friday.
NDRF chief SN Pradhan told PTI that about 50 teams have been pre-positioned in the coastal areas of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal which are feared to be affected while another 31 teams have been kept on standby.
Flight and train operations affected
The Railways said around 95 trains have been cancelled in the last two days in view of cyclone Fani. The national transporter said it will grant full refund to passengers for the cancelled or diverted trains if tickets are produced for cancellation within three days from the scheduled date of journey.
Three special trains have also been pressed into service to ferry stranded passengers from affected areas.
Civil Aviation Ministry said that flight operations from Bhubaneswar will be suspended from midnight of 2 May. No flight will depart or arrive at Kolkata airport between 9.30 pm of 3 May and 6 pm of 4 May. The flight operations will resume after clearance from Air Traffic Control, the ministry said.
(With PTI inputs)