A meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), chaired by the Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, was held today to review the preparedness to deal with severe cyclone ‘Bulbul’ over the Bay of Bengal. Cyclone Bulbul is likely to affect coastal districts of West Bengal and Odisha. Officials of the Ministry of Defence intimated that teams of Coast Guard and Indian Navy are already deployed. The Army and Air Force are on standby.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that the cyclone that had developed in the Bay of Bengal has now intensified and is likely to cross the West Bengal coast by the early morning of 10 November 2019. Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall, accompanied by winds reaching up to 110-120 kmph and tidal waves up to 1.5 metres, are expected.
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Officials of West Bengal and Odisha Governments informed that necessary preparations have been made by them and that SDRF and Fire Service teams have been positioned. Fishing operations have been suspended and people in low lying areas are being evacuated to shelter homes. While 14 teams of NDRF have been positioned, additional teams are being deployed at the request of the states. Officials of the Ministry of Defence intimated that teams of Coast Guard and Indian Navy are already deployed. The Army and Air Force are on standby.
Cabinet Secretary Gauba took stock of the current situation and preparedness for rescue and relief operations and directed that immediate assistance be provided. He advised both the states to take all necessary steps to avoid casualties and damage to infrastructure. He also assured them of all assistance from the Centre in this regard.
State Government of West Bengal was specifically requested to ensure that people in low lying areas in Sagar islands, East Medinipur and North & South 24 Pargana districts are evacuated to prevent any loss of life. State Governments were also requested to ensure that all fishermen presently at sea are brought back to the shore.
Senior officials of the Home Ministry and Ministry of Defence, as well as those from IMD, NDRF, and NDMA attended the meeting. Senior officers from West Bengal and Odisha participated in the meeting through video conference.