HYDERABAD: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday reviewed response preparedness, evacuation plan presented by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for cyclone Amphan.
During the high-level meet, which was also attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, the PM said 25 NDRF teams have been deployed on ground and 12 others were kept ready in reserve, according to the Prime Minister's Office, a news agency reported.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said that cyclone Amphan has turned in to a "super cyclonic storm" on Monday morning, just hours after it intensified into "extremely severe cyclonic storm". A warning has been issued for West Bengal and north Odisha coasts. The cyclone is expected to make a landfall between West Bengal and Bangladesh on Wednesday.
NDRF Director General S N Pradhan said that it has enhanced its strength to a total of 37 teams to combat the "dual challenge" of cyclone 'Amphan' amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, heavy rainfall prevailed over several parts of Kerala since Sunday night due to the impact of cyclone Amphan.
Heavy rains coupled with high-velocity winds in coastal Odisha will take place which has prompted the state government to prepare for the possible evacuation of 11 lakh people. The high-velocity winds may cause extensive damage to property in the state.
Odisha’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday set a target of zero casualty for his administration. The state government had also urged the Centre to temporarily suspend the special trains for migrants passing through areas that fall in the direction of the cyclone.
He has also directed officials to prepare a plan for relocating people living in vulnerable areas to safer places along with an early restoration of affected road communication, drinking water supply, electricity, infrastructure and power supply to hospitals.
IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said that northern parts of Odisha are likely to be more affected due to the cyclone.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), P K Jena said the district collectors of Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Cuttack, Khurda and Nayagarh have been asked to remain in a state of preparedness for evacuating people from vulnerable areas whenever necessary.
Last year in May, major parts of Odisha were devastated by cyclone “Fani” (pronounce Phoni). The state had relocated over 11 lakh people across 13 districts to safety, earning praise for handling the crisis.