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Prepare for worst case, evacuate into overdrive: NDRF chief’s advice to states as Cyclone ‘Yaas’ prepares | India News


KOLKATA: As West Bengal and Odisha prepare for another severe cyclone after the devastation in Amphan last year, NDRF chief SN Pradhan has urged authorities in the two states to take an “over-prepared” approach. for the impending natural disaster and carry out evacuation even in the least vulnerable places.
He said those involved in evacuation work must realize and make people understand that the choice is between temporary discomfort and death.
“What we have learned so far from our experiences over the years is that if the disaster prediction is X, then you need to prepare for 2X because a natural phenomenon can get worse in a matter of hours. So if the forecast is for a 150 km / h severe cyclone, you need to prepare for extremely severe cyclone.
“My advice to all district magistrates would be to conduct an additional evacuation even in places identified as slightly vulnerable. Remember, timely evacuation is a lifesaver. I think the culture of over-preparation has to come to India now.” Pradhan, the The Director General of the NDRF told PTI in an interview.
He said 12 teams have been stationed in West Bengal so far and more are on hold.
Each National Disaster Response Force team has 47 people who are equipped with tree and pole cutters, communication devices, inflatable boats, and basic medical assistance.
Several of his staff have just returned from Gujarat, which was hit by Cyclone Tauktae a few days ago, and are being tested for COVID-19, he said.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), in an update, said that Cyclone Yaas is expected to cross the coasts of West Bengal and northern Odisha on May 26 at night with a wind speed of 155-165 km. / h and gusts of 185 km / h.
It is likely to cause very heavy rains in the coastal districts of West Bengal and northern Odisha.
Pradhan said the specialized force is now more technologically equipped to handle restoration work with improved equipment.
“There is a lot of automation these days. For example, we have battery operated projectile cutters for tall trees that can be cut remotely. Plasma pole cutters are also something new. Now we also have the complete component for our ships. authorized, “said the top NDRF official.
Pradhan, however, expressed disappointment at the training and availability of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel for emergency situations.
“Either they (the SDRFs) are on paper or they are miniscule in number and not sufficiently trained. I think the Odisha model is commendable in this context because they have a committed ODRAF and fire crews, which also double as disaster management personnel “. he said.
When asked about how the force is dealing with the pandemic situation, the director general said that several steps have been taken to inspire confidence and improve morale among staff, including vaccinating nearly 98 percent of them.
“All the jaws use specialized equipment that covers the entire face and extends to the chest. Now we assign a component as a Covid unit, which comprises three or four people who carry medications, are good at preliminary treatment and can contact the There is also a central Covid facility at our headquarters with a medical director.
“We have also established temporary hospitals with at least 10 beds, equipped with facilities such as oxygen concentrators and basic medicines in each battalion, in addition to our own COVID-19 testing arrangements,” added Pradhan.

Times of India