National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General Atul Karwal on Saturday said the impact of Cyclonic storm 'Jawad' is not as strong as it was expected, and it is weakening.
The NDRF Director-General told ANI that "the impact would be less than we had earlier expected and the fact that the Cyclone seems to be weakening and not as strong as it was thought it might be."
The DG said there is rainfall in Coastal areas and light rainfall in other places, but electricity is not disrupted, mobile connectivity is still continued and there are no road blockages as of now.
Karwal was explaining the present situation as the Cyclone has hit coastal areas of north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha since this morning.
The 1988-batch Gujarat cadre IPS officer, Karwal, who took charge as Director General of NDRF last month said his force is fully prepared to deal with the Cyclone and 52 teams of the force have already been deployed in the coastal areas of Odisha, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh as per their demand.
"Odisha, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh were to be mostly affected by the Cyclone," Karwal said.
He said some of the NDRF teams are also deployed in Tamil Nadu and Andaman and Nicobar Island.
"We have a total of 64 teams there. Out of which 52 have been deployed and 12 are still kept in reserve for deployment whenever is required," the DG said.
As the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast, Karwal said, the strength of the cyclone has struck down. "The anticipated wind speed earlier was about 100 km per hour which has now struck down to 70-80 km per hour".
"So the prediction is that from a cyclonic storm it will weaken into a deep depression by midnight today and into a depression by midnight tomorrow."
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba while chairing National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) meeting here on Thursday and Friday reviewed the preparedness to deal with the cyclone and directed all state and Central agencies to follow each necessary protocol to ensure "no scope for loss of lives and to minimize the damage of property".
In the NCMC meetings, the IMD had informed that the Cyclone will recurve and move towards the West Bengal coast. "The cyclone would bring with it heavily to very heavy rainfall. Wind speeds ranging up to 90-100 kmph accompanied by tidal waves, are expected."
As per Home Ministry inputs, Cyclone shelters have already been readied and evacuation of people from the low lying areas is being carried out.
It is learnt that all actions have been taken to stock food grains, drinking water, and other essential supplies. Teams for maintenance and restoration of power, roads, water supply, and other essential services have also been positioned. Harvesting of standing crops is also being done to minimize damages. (ANI)