CHENNAI: With Cyclone Fani taking shape in the Bay of Bengal, about 1,440 km southeast of Chennai, State government is busy preparing contingency measures to face any eventuality. The regional Met centre has forecast the formation of depression on Friday, which will gradually intensify into a cyclonic storm and make landfall between north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh on April 30 evening.
Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan chaired a review meeting to study the preparedness and all district Collectors were briefed over video conference. The meteorological department has even warned of possible further intensification of the storm from the cyclone to the severe cyclone.
“Light to moderate showers may be witnessed in north Tamil Nadu on April 30 and May 1. Wind speed may go up to 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph. If the storm makes landfall anywhere near Chennai, it will inflict damage on the scale of Cyclone Vardah,” officials said.
NDRF, inter-departmental zonal teams on standby
Addressing the media, CRA Satyagopal said there is nothing to worry. “All contingency measures are in place. Totally, 4,399 vulnerable areas have been identified, of which 572 are areas of very high vulnerability, 872 highly vulnerable, 1,200 moderate and about 1,700 low vulnerable areas. We are preparing for the worst case scenario.”
Six teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are on standby, besides Tamil Nadu State Disaster Response Force of 1,275 trained police personnel. About 692 inter-departmental zonal teams, comprising deputy collector, tahsildar, police, fire service and public works department officials, have been formed. Besides, to encourage community participation, 30,759 first responders, including 8,000 women, have been identified.
Learning from Cyclone ‘Gaja’ experience, special teams with personnel from Tamil Nadu Electricity Board (TNEB), gangmen from highways department and urban and local bodies, have been constituted for cutting fallen trees alone. NCC cadre and students are also being roped-in.
‘Ensure generator sets are placed at elevated level’
Satyagopal said all district collectors have been asked to instruct hospitals, both government and private, to ensure generator sets are placed at an elevated level and keep stock of diesel. During 2015 Chennai floods, patients died in a private hospital allegedly due to power failure as generators were placed in basement, which was flooded.
Hospitals have also been asked to keep enough stock of oxygen.
The civil supplies department has been asked to make arrangement for stocking essential items in districts, which are most likely to be affected. Meanwhile, public health department has been instructed to station medical teams at all relief centres, besides forming mobile teams and vector-borne disease control teams, he said.