The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) on Tuesday took stock of the status of the “very severe cyclonic storm” ‘Nivar’ that is expected to hit coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry on Wednesday, and assure the states of all possible help, including the early release of disaster relief fund.

NCMC headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, also directed all concerned to continue work aiming at zero loss of life and early restoration of normalcy in the affected areas that include power and telecommunications networks, an official spokesperson said.

The NCMC reviewed the status of impending cyclone Nivar at a meeting held through video conferencing with the chief secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry.

The chief secretaries of the three states, directors general of India Meteorological Department(IMD)and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) briefed the NCMC about their preparedness and mentioned that the authorities are fully prepared to meet any eventuality.

The chief of the NDRF said so far 30 teams of the force have been deployed in the three states, while 20 more teams have been kept on standby for immediate deployment.

A team of NDRF comprises of about 40 personnel.

The NCMC was also informed that about 15 districts of the three states are expected to hit by the cyclone and several thousand people living along the coastline have been shifted to shelter houses, the spokesperson said.

The cabinet secretary assured the chief secretaries all necessary assistance, and Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla conveyed that the required financial assistance from the National Disaster Relief Fund will be released on Wednesday.

The cabinet secretary also asked everyone to circulate the Do’s and Don’ts to the people living along the coastal areas asking them to stay calm, ignore rumours, keep mobile phones charged, listen to radio, not to enter damaged buildings, leave home for safer places if current house is not secured and switch off the main power connection, among others.

The meeting was informed about the coordination between the NDRF and other agencies to meet this challenge.

The director general of the India Meteorological Department made a presentation on the present situation and mentioned that the status is being shared with the state governments concerned.

It was stressed in the meeting that the advisories issued to the fishermen asking them not to go into the sea should be strictly implemented, the spokesperson said.

The secretaries of various central government ministries and departments attended the meeting.

Cyclone Nivar is expected to intensify into a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ and cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram on the late evening of November 25, the IMD said.

Nivar is the second cyclone in the Bay of Bengal this year. In May, Cyclone Amphan had developed into a ‘super cyclonic storm’.

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