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Cyclone Ockhi: Cabinet Secretary reviews preparedness, rescue and relief operations

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) chaired by the Cabinet secretary, P K Sinha met on December fouth two full days after the cyclone Ockhi struck the land's end in Tamil Nadu and reviewed the relief and rescue operations in States and Union Territories affected by the ongoing cyclone

The Committee also took stock of the preparedness activities in Maharashtra and Gujarat which are likely to be impacted by the cyclone. The very severe cyclonic storm Ockhi over east central Arabian Sea moved further northwards with a speed of 13 kmph early morning on December four.

It is very likely to move North-North Eastward and weaken gradually. It will then cross coasts of south Gujarat and adjoining North Maharashtra near Surat as a deep depression by midnight of December 5.

The NCMC also took note of another depression being formed in the South East Bay of Bengal adjoining South Andaman sea and reviewed the preparedness activities undertaken by States of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Necessary advisories have been issued to fishermen and others. The Chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have taken necessary steps to deal with any eventualities occurring in their respective States.

 The Cabinet Secretary held a video conference with the Chief Secretaries and the senior officers of the affected States and UTs to review situation. The meeting was also attended by the officials of Ministry of Home Affairs, National Disaster Management Authority, Ministry of Defence, Indian Navy, India Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Indian Meteorological Department etc.

The government agencies at the centre and the affected States are regularly monitoring the cyclonic storm and are conducting necessary relief and rescue operations. Indian Coast Guards, Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, NDRF and local Government agencies are also continuing the search and rescue operations.

 A  total of 243 fishermen in Tamil Nadu, 250 in Kerala and 1047 persons in Lakshadweep have been rescued so far. Relief material is also being provided to inmates in relief camps set up by the government agencies. State Governments of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep administration also took prompt action in dealing with the situation. The Central Government have deployed Coast Guard Ships (10), Aircraft (3), Helicopters (1); Navy Ships (10), Aircraft (2), Helicopters (2); Airforce Aircraft (1), Helicopters (3) for rescue and relief.

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