Cyclone 'Biparjoy': 33 NDRF teams earmarked for relief and rescue ops in Maharashtra, Gujarat
'Biparjoy' is expected to make landfall on Thursday evening as a "very severe cyclonic storm" with maximum wind speed reaching up to 150 kmph.
NEW DELHI: 33 teams have been earmarked by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to undertake relief and rescue operations in Gujarat and Maharashtra ahead of the expected landfall of cyclone 'Biparjoy' near the Jakhau port in Kutch district, officials said on Wednesday.
While 18 NDRF teams have been placed in Gujarat, one has been stationed in neighboring Diu in the newly formed Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.
Giving a layout of the NDRF deployment in Gujarat, the officials said four NDRF teams have been deployed in the Kutch district, three each in Rajkot and Devbhumi Dwarka, two in Jamnagar, one each in Porbandar, Junagarh, Gir Somnath, Morbi, Valsad, and Gandhinagar.
In neighboring Maharashtra, out of the total 14 NDRF teams, they have deployed five in Mumbai while they have kept the rest on standby; the officials said.
Each of these teams has about 35-40 personnel and they are equipped with tree and pole cutters, electric saws, inflatable boats, and basic medicines and relief items, they said.
NDRF deputy inspector general (operations) Mohsen Shahedi told reporters here that a "massive" evacuation drive has been undertaken by the state authorities and the NDRF in the coastal areas of Gujarat over the last two days and over 45,000 people have been moved to safer places.
He said the "thrust area" for the federal anti-disaster force is the Saurashtra and Kutch area of Gujarat, where eight districts and 442 low-lying villages are expected to be affected by strong rains and floods that could be triggered by the cyclone.
The cyclone is barreling towards the Gujarat coast even as parts of the Saurashtra-Kutch region received heavy rains accompanied by strong winds on Wednesday, the Met department said.
'Biparjoy' is expected to make landfall on Thursday evening as a "very severe cyclonic storm" with maximum wind speed reaching up to 150 kilometers per hour, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.