Cyclone Fani: 81 NDRF teams comprising over 4,000 personnel deployed

Over 4,000 specialised personnel as part of 81 NDRF teams have been deployed to deal with the extremely severe cyclone Fani which is likely to affect Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal upon its landfall on Friday. NDRF chief S N Pradhan told PTI that about 50 teams have been pre-positioned in the coastal areas of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal which are feared to be affected while another 31 teams have been kept on standby. Twenty-eight fully equipped teams have been deployed in and around Puri in Odisha as the cyclonic storm is expected to make a landfall there Friday noon, the NDRF Director General (DG) said. Similarly, 12 teams have been deployed in Andhra Pradesh and six in West Bengal. Also read: Pradhan said a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) and a commandant-rank officer have also been tasked to monitor the activities of the rescue and relief teams from ground in Odishas capital Bhubaneswar and Puri. The teams have been equipped with additional boats, satellite phones, medical equipment, medicines, tree cutters, pickup and common mobility vehicles, and other gadgets, he said. The force has also activated a round-the-clock control room at its headquarters here and a team of officials is in constant touch with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) and the disaster response units of the three states. NDRF teams have also been kept on alert in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Cyclone Fani is expected to cross the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali to the south of Puri on May 3. The state administration has set up a number of relief camps, an NDRF spokesperson said. The spokesperson said the NDRF teams have doctors, paramedics, engineers, deep divers and are equipped with boats, buoys, life jackets, scuba sets and latest communication equipment like quick deployable antenna (QDA), HF\/VHF sets so that communication links function even if normal communication network fails. Fani lays centred over West Central Bay of Bengal, about 430 km south-southwest of Puri in Odisha, 225 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and 650 km south-southwest of Digha in West Bengal, as per the latest bulletin of the IMD.