Cyclone Nivar: 1200 rescue troopers deployed, 800 on standby, says NDRF chief

An NDRF team typically comprises about 40 rescue troopers. A total of 22 teams have been pre-deployed while eight are on standby in Tamil Nadu and Andhra
Last Updated 24 November 2020, 18:09 IST

At least 30 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to deal with Cyclone Nivar that will be hitting the Indian coast on Wednesday evening.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and assured all help in dealing with the situation. "I pray for the safety and well-being of those living in the affected areas," he tweeted.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba also chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) through video conferencing with the Chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh and Secretaries of different ministries.

Gauba said that our aim should be to ensure that there is no loss of life, damage is minimum and normalcy is restored in power, telecom and other important sectors in shortest possible time.

NDRF Director General Sharad Pradhan told the meeting that 30 teams of NDRF have so far been deployed and 20 additional teams have been kept on standby for Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh.Teams have been kept reserve at Guntur (Andhra Pradesh), Thrissur (Kerala) and Mundli (Odisha) to meet additional requirements.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea and the people in coastal areas are also being evacuated to shelter houses. The Cabinet Secretary assured all necessary Central assistance to the state governments to overcome this situation.

The Ministry of Home Affairs said Cyclone Nivar was centred about 380 km east-southeast of Puducherry and 430 km south-east of Chennai and is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 12 hours.

It is very likely to cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry during late evening of November 25 as a severe cyclonic storm, with a wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph.

"A close watch is being kept over the system. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) HQ and Commandants of battalions located at Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are in coordination with the respective state authorities," an official statement said.

All teams have reliable wireless and satellite communications, tree cutters/pole cutters for post-landfall restoration, if need arises. In view of the current Covid-19 scenario, NDRF teams are equipped with appropriate PPEs.

(Published 24 November 2020, 15:04 IST)

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