Union Ministers review preparedness for cyclone Biparjoy, IMD issues orange alert for coastal areas

With Cyclone ‘Biparjoy’ expected to hit different parts of the country, Union and State ministers reviewed preparedness at different levels on Tuesday. Union Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed preparedness for cyclone ‘Biparjoy’ in the national capital on Tuesday and directed all stakeholders and officers to ensure ‘zero casualties’ and minimize the possible damage. Gujarat Chief […]

With Cyclone ‘Biparjoy’ expected to hit different parts of the country, Union and State ministers reviewed preparedness at different levels on Tuesday.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed preparedness for cyclone ‘Biparjoy’ in the national capital on Tuesday and directed all stakeholders and officers to ensure ‘zero casualties’ and minimize the possible damage. Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and MPs from eight likely affected districts in the state, which could be impacted by the cyclone, virtually participated in the meeting.
Chairing the meeting, Shah stressed the need to act swiftly on the important directions given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a review meeting chaired by him on June 12.
The Home Minister in the meeting also said that the Centre has deployed an adequate number of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams for relief and rescue operations.
“Along with this, units and assets of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard have been deployed for help as per requirements,” said the Minister.
Cyclone Biparjoy, a “very severe cyclonic storm”, is expected to cross the Gujarat coast on June 15.
Noting that the Ministry of Home Affairs and State Government control room is monitoring the situation round the clock and all the agencies Government of India are prepared to deal with any emergency situation, Shah has assured all possible help to the government of Gujarat.
The Home Minister asked the Government of Gujarat to make arrangements to move people living in sensitive places to safer places and ensure all necessary services like electricity, telecommunication, health, and drinking water and emphasized that the preparedness should be such that in case of any damage, these services can be restored immediately.
Shah also directed to ensure mobile and landline connectivity and alternative arrangements for electricity in all hospitals.
Pointing that the storm is expected to bring 8-10 inches of rain, which may cause flood in Kutch and Saurashtra, Shah further stressed the need to review the necessary preparations to deal with it.
The Home Minister also asked to make all necessary arrangements around Somnath and Dwarka temples.
He said that as per the directions given by the Prime Minister, the safety of animals and trees in Gir forest should also be ensured.
The Home Minister also asked MPs and MLAs of Gujarat to make people aware of the threat of the cyclone in their respective areas and help them.
Union Home Secretary, Director General of India Meteorological Department (IMD), Member Secretary, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and senior officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs were also present at the meeting.
Director General, IMD briefed the Union Home Minister about the current status of the extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Biparjoy’ over the east-central Arabian Sea. He said that it is very likely to move nearly northward till the 14th morning, then move north-northeastwards and cross Saurashtra and Kutch and adjoining Pakistan coasts between Mandvi (Gujarat) and Karachi (Pakistan) near Jakhau Port (Gujarat) by noon of 15th June as a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 125-135 kmph gusting to 150 kmph.
Gujarat Chief Minister apprised the Union Home Minister about the preparedness and measures being taken by the local administration to protect the population residing in the expected path of the cyclonic storm. He said that fishermen have been advised not to venture out into the sea and those at sea have been called back to safe berth. A total of 21,595 boats, 27 ships and 24 large ships have been parked so far. A list of sensitive villages has been prepared for the purpose of evacuation.
Patel informed that 450 hospitals have been identified in the areas likely to be affected by the storm and the supply of essential medicines has been ensured. Adequate shelters have also been arranged and 597 teams have been deployed to ensure power supply.
A total of 18 teams of NDRF and 12 teams of SDRF have also been deployed.
In this regard, the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya also reviewed the preparedness measures being taken by the Centre and Gujarat state on cyclone ‘Biparjoy’ at Bhuj, Gujarat on Tuesday, read an official statement.
The Health Minister of Gujarat, Rushikesh Ganeshbhai Patel was also present in the review meeting.
According to the official release, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is in continuous communication with its Regional Offices in all States of the Western Coast (including Gujarat) with instructions to provide requisite support to the States in their preparedness for the cyclone. So far, no such request has been communicated to the Health Ministry.
“Six multi-disciplinary Central Quick Response Medical Teams [pooled in from Dr RML Hospital, New Delhi; LHMC, New Delhi; Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi; AIIMS (New Delhi); AIIMS (Jodhpur) and AIIMS (Nagpur)] are kept ready to be mobilised in the event of any requirements for the same for providing emergency care and services. Besides, teams from NIMHANS, Bengaluru are also on standby to provide psychosocial care and aid to any affected population,” the release said.
“The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) in all States have been tasked to conduct post-disaster disease surveillance through the State/district surveillance units for timely detection of any disease outbreak of any epidemic-prone diseases in the aftermath of the cyclone. In case of any logistic requirement by the States, HLL Lifecare Ltd. has been tasked with supply of the same,” added the release.
The release also informed that the Union Health Ministry continues to monitor the cyclone situation closely and is taking all necessary measures to be prepared for any health emergencies.
Union Power Minister RK Singh also held a review meeting with senior officers of the Ministry of Power, Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Grid Controller of India and PGCIL for the preparations for the maintenance of power supply in coastal areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan which are likely to be affected by Cyclone ‘Biparjoy’.
As per the Ministry of Power, “RK Singh also discussed various necessary arrangements with the Power Minister of Gujarat on the phone.”
Union Power Minister gave strict instructions to all concerned to continuously monitor the situation and take all necessary steps for maintaining the stable grid supply to the States likely to be affected and also make arrangements for Emergency Restoration System (ERS) along with necessary men and material to be stationed at the strategic locations so that restoration works can be taken up without any delay, the release stated.
Union Power Minister Singh also instructed PGCIL to extend all possible support and assistance to Gujarat Power Department for the restoration of State Transmission Lines and distribution network, he added.
The Ministry further stated, “The National Load Despatch Centre (NLDC) is continuously monitoring grid supply in these States for monitoring variations in load or generation and to take timely action to ensure stable operation of the Grid and also for alternative supply through other transmission lines in the best possible manner.”
NLDC has also identified the power generating stations, transmission lines and sub-stations that might get affected and has already prepared a detailed contingency plan to deal with every likely sit Rajasthan, the Ministry added.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday issued an Orange alert for Saurashtra and Kutch coasts in Gujarat as the cyclonic storm Biparjoy is set to cross the Jakhau Port in Gujarat by the evening of June 15 as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS).
“Cyclone Warning for Saurashtra and Kutch Coasts: Orange Message. VSCS BIPARJOY at 0530IST of today is about 300km WSW of Porbandar, 290km SW of Devbhumi Dwarka, 340km SSW of Jakhau Port, 350km SSW of Naliya. To cross near Jakhau Port (Gujarat) by the evening of 15th June as VSCS,” the IMD tweeted.
The IMD has been providing regular updates about the cyclonic storm that is gushing through the Arabian Sea.