By Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI/BHUBANESWAR/KOLKATA: In the wake of concern expressed by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Principal Secretary to PM, Dr. P. K. Mishra held a high-level meeting on Thursday with the States of Odisha, West Bengal and Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to review their preparedness to deal with the situation in view of cyclone storm ‘Bulbul’.
The meeting reviewed the situation arising due to movement of Cyclone ‘Bulbul’ in the last few hours. Director General, India Meteorological Department gave the detailed forecast on cyclone Bulbul; its projected track and accompanying wind speed and rainfall in the sea and along the coasts of Odisha and West Bengal.
He informed that coastal Odisha is likely to witness wind speed of 70-80 kmph gusting upto 90 kmph on 8th November accompanied by heavy to very heavy rain. Similar situation is likely to prevail in coastal West Bengal on 9th November. Further sea conditions will be very rough and advised fishing operation to be completely suspended.
State Chief Secretaries informed of having taken all precautionary measures in the coastal regions and monitoring the situation in the districts on 24×7 basis. Further all fishermen have been advised to not venture in the sea and those in the sea have been advised to return back.
DG, NDRF informed that their teams are fully prepared with all the required equipment like tree cutters, pole cutters etc. are on standby. Indian Coast Guard is also on alert and advising fishermen and merchant ship not to venture in the sea.
Principal Secretary to PM advised them to take all possible measures to ensure that there is human casualty and loss to property is minimised. He also assured the States of all the necessary central assistance required in the developing situations.
The meeting was attended by the Principal Advisor to the Prime Minister; Secretaries of Home Affairs, and Information and Broadcasting; Member, NDMA, Directors General of India Meteorological Department and NDRF; and senior officers from PMO, Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence. Chief Secretaries/ representatives from West Bengal, Odisha and Andaman & Nicobar Islands joined the meeting through video conference.
Odisha has declared holiday for Schools and Colleges in 9 districts while Government employees in Kendrapara, Puri , Cuttack , Bhadrak, Balesore have been asked to remain in duty.
Odisha government has decided to deploy NDRF and ODRAF teams in coastal districts of the State as a precautionary measure following the India Meteorological Department forecast that Cyclone Bulbul is likely to lash the State with heavy rains and strong winds from Friday.
Special Relief Commissioner Pradip Jena said authorities have been asked to send the NDRF and ODRAF teams to the districts likely to be affected by today to help in relief and rescue. Besides, the district collectors of nine districts have been asked to remain alert and keep cyclone shelters ready with all required arrangements.Residents of low lying areas have been advised not to venture out of their home during heavy rain.
According to the IMD, Bulbul will cause light to moderate rain in the north coastal districts and isolated heavy falls in Puri, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts on November 8.
“Heavy to very heavy rains have been forecast for Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts and heavy rains at isolated places in Mayurbhanj, Cuttack and Jajpur districts on November 9,” the IMD said.