Bhubaneswar: The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has started positioning rescue teams in Odisha ahead of impending cyclone ‘Yaas’, which is expected to make landfall somewhere between Paradip and Sagar Islands on May 26 as per the present prediction made by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
“NDRF is ready to handle any kind of situation arising out of the cyclone. Till now, as many as 22 teams of the disaster management wing have been dispatched to Odisha. As per the request of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) of the State government, 10 more NDRF teams will be airlifted to the State tonight. Total 32 teams have been kept ready for the State,” said NDRF Director General (DG) SN Pradhan.
“However, we have to keep changing the placement of the rescue teams till May 25 as the cyclone may change direction and velocity in the last moment. IMD is constantly monitoring. We are coordinating with IMD and are ready for any last minute change,” said Pradhan adding that the final placement of the rescue teams will be decided by May 25 afternoon as no operational movement will be possible on the next day.
Meanwhile, NDRF has requested all the fishermen and sailors operating small boats and large ships to return to land as soon as possible.
“There is huge risk to human life in the sea during the cyclone. There should not be any human movement in the sea and ports during the cyclone,” he cautioned.
Pradhan agreed that it will be a huge challenge for his team to handle the severe cyclone during Covid-19 time.
“It is certainly a disaster within a disaster. It is very difficult to handle the severe cyclone amid Covid-19 as team members have to go to infected areas. They will continue the rescue operation by taking all precautions. Besides, a core medical team will follow them. They will also hold correspondence with the department medical office where a chief medical officer will provide them telemedicine services,” informed Pradhan adding that special arrangements have been made in the ports, oil refinery and important industrial hubs to minimise the impact of the cyclone.