29 April 2019
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday directed officials to take stock of preparedness for Cyclone 'Fani' that has been gaining strength in the southeast Bay of Bengal and is likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm on Tuesday, a Home Ministry statement said.
As of Monday morning, Fani was located 880 kms southeast of Chennai and was expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm by April 30, said the statement. It added the cyclone would continue to move northwest and change its path to northeast from May 1.
According to India Meteorological Department (IMD), landfall over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh is ruled out. However, the possibility of landfall in Odisha is under continuous watch.
"The Prime Minister is closely monitoring the situation and has directed the Cabinet Secretary to convene a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) to take stock of the situation," said the statement.
Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha on Monday took stock of the situation arising out of the cyclonic storm 'Fani' that has been intensifying in the in southeast Bay of Bengal in the NCMC meeting here. During the meeting, officers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal confirmed their full preparedness to deal with any emerging situation arising out of the cyclonic storm.
Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal attended the meeting through video conference. Senior officers from the Central ministries and concerned agencies were also in attendance.
The state governments have been adequately warned fishermen not to venture into the sea and highlighted that there is a seasonal ban on fishing in sea up to June 14 due to breeding season.
After a request by the states, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) assured them of releasing in advance the first instalment of the State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF), added the statement.
Prime Minister Modi also tweeted: "Spoke to officials regarding the situation arising due to Cyclone Fani. Asked them to take preventive measures and be prepared to provide all possible assistance. Also urged them to work closely with governments of the affected states. Praying for everyone's safety and wellbeing."
The Home Ministry said that it had been in continuous touch with the concerned state governments and Central agencies.
"National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Indian Coast Guard have been put on high alert and placed at the disposal of state government authorities. Regular warnings have been issued since April 25 to fishermen not to venture into the sea and asking those at sea to return to the coast. The IMD has been issuing three hourly bulletins with latest forecast to all the concerned states," said the Ministry.
(With IANS Inputs)