Cyclone Biparjoy: About 1 lakh evacuated from Gujarat, working to ensure minimum loss, says NDRF DG


PTI, Jun 15, 2023, 2:08 PM IST

Fishing boats have been anchored, large ships sent to high seas, more than 4,000 hoardings taken down and salt pan workers and pregnant women have been taken to safer places as authorities have evacuated about 1 lakh people in Gujarat in the wake of Cyclone ‘Biparjoy’, NDRF DG Atul Karwal said Thursday.

The head of the federal contingency force said the NDRF has also kept on alert 15 teams in the north, east and south of the country to airlift them and reinforce the strength of these 33 teams which have been earmarked for cyclone relief and rescue work in Gujarat and Maharashtra.

A total of 18 teams have been stationed in Gujarat which is predicted to take the maximum brunt of the cyclonic storm and resulting strong winds and heavy rains.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), ‘Biparjoy’ is expected to make landfall Thursday evening near Jakhau port as a very severe cyclonic storm with maximum wind speed reaching up to 150 kilometres per hour.

Based on the information shared by Gujarat government authorities, about 1 lakh people have been evacuated from the coastal and low-lying areas of Gujarat by 9 am Thursday, Karwal told reporters here.

We have 18 teams deployed and kept on stand-by to undertake quick rescue operations in Gujarat, he said.

The DG said the maximum of four teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been positioned in Kutch district and the Gujarat government has done an in-depth evacuation exercise as part of which fishing boats have been anchored, big ships have been sent to the high seas so that they are not affected by the tidal waves, more than 4,000 hoarding have been taken down so that they don’t become deadly flying objects as strong winds blow.

Salt pan workers and pregnant women have also been taken to safer locations and hospital respectively, the DG said.

Our aim is to ensure that the loss of lives and property remains minimum and we have equipped our teams with tree and pole cutters to ensure communication links are kept open and restored quickly once the cyclonic effect is over, he said.

Some low-lying areas may face flooding instances due to heavy rains and hence our teams will have inflatable boats to rescue people from these areas, Karwal added.

He said five teams each in the north, east and south have been kept in readiness and they can be airlifted by Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft as soon as required.

There teams are in Bathinda, Punjab (north), Mundali in Odisha (east) and Arakkonam in Chennai (south). We have prepared for more than what was required and all the agencies are working to ensure minimum loss of life and property, the DG said.

While 18 NDRF teams have been placed in Gujarat, one has been stationed in neighbouring Diu in the newly formed Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu.

Diu is encircled by Gir Somnath and Amreli districts of Gujarat in the north and by the Arabian Sea from three sides.

Giving a layout of the NDRF deployment in Gujarat, officials said four NDRF teams have been deployed in Kutch district, three each in Rajkot and Devbhumi Dwarka, two in Jamnagar, one each in Porbandar, Junagarh, Gir Somnath, Morbi, Valsad and Gandhinagar.

In the neighbouring state of Maharashtra, out of the total 14 NDRF teams, five have been deployed in Mumbai while the rest have been kept on standby, officials have said.

 

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