Fani alert sounded in Assam, Meghalaya

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23 Guwahati airport flights cancelled ** Eastern Air Command keeps 15 choppers standby

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, May 3: As cyclone ‘Fani’ is expected to trigger heavy rains in the northeast after hitting West Bengal, the Assam government on Friday directed all district deputy commissioners and agencies concerned to be on alert and take necessary measures to deal with the situation. The Central Water Commission, in a bulletin, has forecast high rainfall in west and central Assam districts on May 4 and 5.

According to a release by the Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA), state disaster response force (SDRF) personnel have been deployed in 40 locations across the state.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have reached for pre-positioning in Cachar, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Sonitpur, Tinsukia and Jorhat districts. Dhemaji district and Patgaon in Guwahati each already have an NDRF battalion stationed there, the release said.

Toll-free numbers have been set up in the district and state control rooms which will be operational round the clock. The toll-free number for the district control room is 1077 and those for the state control room are 1070 and 1079.

The ASDMA is in constant touch with the central government, the Central Water Commission, India Meteorological Department and disaster management authorities of neighbouring states, the statement said.

As many as 23 flights to or from Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Borjhar in Guwahati have been cancelled.

Kokrajhar administration is all prepared to take on ‘Cyclone Fani’. According to deputy commissioner, Partha Pratim Majumdar the civil and police administrations are ready to take on ‘Cyclone Fani’. Necessary arrangements and readiness are made to tackle any untoward situation.

According to the Borjhar based Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC), heavy rainfall is expected in Assam and other parts of the North Eastern region on May 4 and 5 due to cyclone Fani. Meanwhile, a report from Shillong said that the Meghalaya government has sought deployment of a platoon of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in the state in view of Cyclone Fani, officials said.

One NDRF platoon, comprising 25 to 30 personnel, has been sought from Guwahati, Meghalaya revenue and disaster minister Kyrmen Shylla said.

The IMD has warned of thundersquall accompanied with gusty winds and heavy rains for the next 48 hours across the northeastern states, including Meghalaya.

The officials of all the 11 districts have been asked to be on alert, the minister said. Meanwhile, the Eastern Air Command of the Indian Air Force (IAF) has been kept on standby in view of the storm.

“Six light helicopters for rescue operations and five medium-lift helicopters for transporting relief materials are ready in case of any emergency,” a spokesperson at the EAC headquarters said here. “In addition, four AN 32 aircraft have been kept ready, with medical teams, for ferrying relief material, medical help, NDRF teams and equipment,” the spokesperson said.

The IAF spokesperson said that the helicopters have been kept ready at Bagdogra and Purnea for quick deployment in Odisha and West Bengal. The medium-lift helicopters have been kept on standby at Kumbhigram airport in Silchar. They would be used if the cyclone affects the states of Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland, the spokesperson said.

In addition at Silchar, Kumbhigram medium lift helicopters have been kept on standby for the phase when the storm would start to effect the states of Tripura Mizoram Manipur and Nagaland, he said. The operation centre would be established either in Odisha or in West Bengal depending on the situation as it unfolds, he said.


Hailakandi DDMA asks people not to panic

Hailakandi District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has asked people not to panic in the light of the cyclonic storm Fani.

Hailakandi additional deputy commissioner EL Faihriem said as per information received from the State Emergency Operation Centre, Assam there is chance of light to moderate rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya on May 4 and 5.

The CEO, DDMA, Hailakandi, Faihriem said that there is no reason to panic. People, however, must be on alert during the period, he added.

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