Ramanathapuram: As the cyclonic storm Gaja is approaching the coast of South Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, and is poised to cross coast on the evening of November 15, the Indian Navy has been put on alert for relief efforts.
“The Eastern Naval Command(ENC) has assumed high degree of readiness to render necessary humanitarian assistance. Two Indian Naval ships Ranvir and Khanjar are standing by to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake Humanitarian Aid Distress Relief (HADR), evacuation, logistic support including providing medical aid. These ships will be embarked with additional divers, doctors, inflatable rubber boats, integral helicopters and relief material that include food, tentage, clothes, medicines, blankets etc,” read an official statement.
Additionally, aircraft from Naval Air Stations Dega, Rajali and Parundu and Water Jet FACs and Patrolling Boats from Naval Detachments in Ramnad and Nagapatnam have been warning the fishing vessels about the approaching storm and directing them to return to the harbour.
The ENC is monitoring the developments closely and Flag Officer Commanding Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Naval Area is in constant communication with the State Administration to augment rescue and relief operations. “One P8I aircraft, Dornier aircraft and helicopters are also standing by to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, casualty evacuation and air drop of relief material to the stranded,” the statement further noted.
Cyclone Gaja is expected to make a landfall between Pamban and Cuddalore today. In an attempt to mitigate damage to properties and human lives, the state administration headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami has planned to evacuate around 20,000 people residing on the coastal line and moving them to relief camps.
On Wednesday, Cuddalore District Collector V Anbuselvan, who visited the possible affected areas, said all private and government schools in Cuddalore would remain closed due to the cyclonic storm.
Apart from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh is also bracing for the impact of the cyclone which is likely to bring heavy downpour and strong winds to several parts of the region for the next couple of days.