NEW DELHI: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday held a meeting with the Chief Ministers of Gujarat and Maharashtra and Administrator of Daman and Diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli, to assess the preparedness of states and Union Territories and Central Ministries and agencies concerned, to deal with the situation arising out of cyclone 'Tauktae'.
During the meeting, Shah reviewed the preparedness of all health facilities in the areas likely to be impacted by the cyclone and directed the state administration and district collectors to make adequate power backup arrangements in all COVID hospitals, labs, vaccine cold chain and other medical facilities.
The Home Minister also directed Maharashtra and Gujarat to make advance planning for keeping a buffer stock of oxygen for two days and movement of oxygen tankers to allocated to the states, so that in case of any disruption, supply to allocated states is not impacted.
"A 24x7 control room is functioning in MHA, which can be contacted at any time for any assistance by the States. Indian Coast Guard, the Navy, Army and Air Force units have also been put on standby and surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial sorties," Shah said.
The Union Home Minister directed the senior officers to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated and all essential services maintained, including health and oxygen facilities, power, telecommunications, drinking water and that these are restored immediately in the event of damages caused to them.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reviewed the preparedness of states and central agencies concerned to deal with the situation arising out of cyclone Tauktae.
Earlier in the day, the Director-General of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that the cyclone is expected to reach the Gujarat Coast in the morning of May 18 (Tuesday) with wind speeds ranging from 150 to 160 km/hour, accompanied by squally winds, heavy rainfall and storm surge in the coastal districts of the state.
The National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF) has deployed a total of 101 teams across the states that will most likely be affected due to cyclone Tauktae. As many as 79 teams, along with 22 on standby have been deployed. Rescue and relief teams of the Army, Navy and Coast Guard, along with ships and aircraft have also been deployed.
The incoming cyclone has intensified into a "very severe cyclonic storm" over the east-central Arabian Sea and is very likely to intensify further during the next 12 hours, said the IMD on Sunday morning.