Prime Minister Narendra Modi is chairing a high-level meeting on Monday, May 18, with officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to take stock of the situation due to Cyclone Amphan in parts of coastal India. Union Home Minister Amit Shah is also present in the meeting.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said, "Reviewed the preparedness regarding the situation due to cyclone 'Amphan.' The response measures as well as evacuation plans were discussed. I pray for everyone's safety and assure all possible support from the Central Government."
In today's meeting, PM Modi took full stock of the situation and reviewed the response preparedness as well as the evacuation plan presented by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). During the presentation of the response plan, DG NDRF informed that 25 NDRF teams have been deployed on the ground while 12 others are ready in reserve. 24 other NDRF teams are also on standby in different parts of the country.
The Prime Minister's Office said, "PM Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting today to review the response measures against cyclone 'Amphan' developing in the Bay of Bengal. PM took full stock of the situation and reviewed the response preparedness as well as the evacuation plan presented by the NDRF."
Taking to Twitter, Amit Shah said, "To review the arising cyclone situation in various parts of the country, PM @narendramodi ji will chair a high level meeting with MHA & NDMA, today at 4pm."
The meeting is being held at the PM Modi's residence in which Amit Shah, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, and NDMA officials are also present.
IMD issues cyclone alert
The Prime Minister called the meeting today at 4 pm after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a cyclone alert for West Bengal and north Odisha coasts as an extremely severe cyclonic storm 'Amphan' was looming over central parts of south and central Bay of Bengal.
In a statement, the IMD said: "The Very Severe Cyclonic Storm 'AMPHAN' (pronounced as UM-PUN) over central parts of southern Bay of Bengal moved north-northeastwards with a speed of 13 kmph during the past six hours, and has intensified into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm and lies centred at 0230 hrs IST of today over central parts of south Bay of Bengal and adjoining central Bay of Bengal near latitude 12.9 degrees North and longitude 86.4 degrees East, about 820 km nearly south of Paradip (Odisha), 980 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal) and 1,090 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh)."
"It is very likely to intensify further during the next six hours. It is very likely to move north-northeastwards and move fast across northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) during the afternoon/evening of May 20, 2020 as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm," the IMD further warned.
(With agency inputs)