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India Braces for Cyclone, NCMC Meets to Review Preparedness and Response

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) has convened a meeting to assess and review the preparedness for an impending cyclone in the Bay of Bengal. The NCMC, headed by the Cabinet Secretary, coordinates the response and preparedness efforts across various government departments and agencies to ensure a comprehensive and effective approach to managing the crisis. During such meetings, key aspects such as early warning systems, evacuation plans, resource mobilization, and coordination with state governments are typically discussed to mitigate the impact of the cyclone and ensure the safety of affected populations.

Ministry of Home Affairs in a statement said that 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 aircrafts have been kept in readiness.

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

 It is  expected to move northeastwards, intensifying into a severe cyclonic storm by the night of May 25. The cyclone is likely to cross the Bangladesh and West Bengal coasts between Sagar Island and Khepupara around midnight on May 26, with wind speeds of 110-120 kmph, gusting to 130 kmph.

The Chief Secretary of West Bengal provided an update on the state’s preparatory measures, including warnings to fishermen, activation of  district control rooms, and readiness of shelters, power supplies, medicines, and emergency services. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 12 teams, with 5 additional teams on standby. The Army, Navy, and Coast Guard have also prepared rescue and relief teams, along with ships and aircraft. Alerts and advisories are being sent to the ports of Kolkata and Paradip, and emergency teams from the Ministry of Power are ready for immediate power restoration.

The Cabinet Secretary emphasized the importance of taking all necessary preventive and precautionary measures to ensure zero loss of life and minimal damage to property and infrastructure. He stressed the need for timely evacuation of people from vulnerable areas and the return of fishermen at sea.

Additionally, he urged the review of large hoardings in areas likely to be affected by the cyclone. The Government of West Bengal was assured that all Central agencies are on full alert and ready to assist.

The meeting was attended by key officials, including the Chief Secretary of West Bengal, Union Home Secretary, Secretaries from various ministries, the Member Secretary of the National Disaster Management Authority, the Chief of Integrated Defence Staff, and senior officers from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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