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National News

May 21, 2020

Govt directs central agencies to remain in touch with Odisha and West Bengal to provide all necessary assistance expeditiously

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba today reviewed the situation in the ‘AMPHAN’ cyclone affected areas of Odisha and West Bengal in the meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee. Chief Secretaries of Odisha and West Bengal informed that timely and accurate forecast by Indian Meteorological Department and advance deployment of National Disaster Response Force facilitated in evacuation of about 5 lakh people in West Bengal and about 2 lakh in Odisha.

West Bengal informed that there were major damages to agriculture, power and telecommunication facilities in cyclone affected areas. Odisha informed that damages have been mainly limited to agriculture. Cabinet Secretary directed the central agencies to remain in touch with the state governments of Odisha and West Bengal and provide all required assistance expeditiously.

Ministry of Home Affairs will send teams to carry out early assessment of damages. NDRF is moving additional teams in West Bengal to speed up restoration work, especially in Kolkata. Food Corporation of India will ensure adequate availability of food grains. Power Ministry and Department of Telecommunications will assist in early restoration of services in both the States. The Railways is in the process of restarting its operations at the earliest.

Director General of National Disaster Resforce (NDRF) S N Pradhan  has said, the Cyclone Amphan has impacted much in West Bengal than the areas came under it during the landfall in Odisha. Addressing media in New Delhi today, the normalcy in the affected areas of Odisha is expected to be restored in 24 to 48 hours. He also informed that Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba held a meeting of National Crisis Management Committee to review post-cyclone situation in which  Chief Secretaries of West Bengal and Odisha were present. He informed that a team of Home Ministry will visit the states to assess the damage to property. He said, situation in Odisha is under control. He said, weather has moderated in Odisha and some people have started returning to their homes.

He said, soon after Cyclone Amphan landfall yesterday, NDRF teams had fanned out and started work as per deployment in Odisha in afternoon itself and by evening in West Bengal. He said, NDRF  Teams deployed are operational and we will continue to provide services till states require services. He said, NDRF teams worked throughout the night in order to clear roads and restore normalcy as soon as possible. He also said, around 5 lakh people evacuated in West Bengal have been told to remain in shelters while in Odisha more than 2.37 lakh people in Odisha were evacuated.

Mr Pradhan said, the forecast of the IMD about the Cyclone was totally accurate and it being a user department, the NDRF is very grateful to IMD for this. The NDRF DG said the  correct climatological intelligence provided by IMD has enabled the NDRF to minimize loss of lives and property in the cyclone hit areas.

India Meteorological Department, IMD, DG M Mohapatra said that Cyclone Amphan has weakened from a super cyclonic storm to a cyclonic storm today morning. He said, it crossed India-Bangladesh border at 11.30 PM yesterday and it has now weakened to a deep depression, and centred over Bangladesh. He said, there is also no threat of cyclone in Bangladesh as it has converted into deep depression.

Mr Mohapatra said, 50 to 60 kilometer per hour wind speed is expected in Bangladesh and Meghalaya for next 3 hours and this is not expected to cause any structural damage. He said there is no strong winds expected for tomorrow . He said, the IMD utlised its latest technology and expertise for the forecast of cyclone.  

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