Bhubaneswar: NDMA on Tuesday credited the Meteorological department for its accurate forecast which it said helped in minimising casualty as Cyclone Phailin ripped through the eastern coast of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
"It is IMD which provided valuable and accurate forecast about movement of Phailin. Basing on its information all arrangements were made which helped minimise casualty," National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Vice Chairman M Shashidhar Reddy told reporters here.
On claims that both central and state governments were vying for accolades for minimising casualty, Reddy said, "Nobody is making such claims as reported. But it is a fact that several agencies including the Centre and the state government, worked together during the crisis."
Reddy said though Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was on foreign tour when the cyclone was fast moving towards Odisha coast, he took stock of the situation.
Even UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was worried over the situation, while Home and Defence Ministries extended timely help to mitigate the disaster, he said.
To a query, the NDMA Vice Chairman said the central government was ready to provide all assistance to the state. "Power Ministry has agreed to provide technical experts for restoration of infrastructure in Ganjam district," he said.
Reddy`s statement comes in the backdrop of both central and state governments claiming credit over the minimum casualty in Cyclone Phailin.
While 9,885 persons had died in the super cyclone in 1999 in Odisha, this time round the casualty figure was 21.
Odisha government had claimed that its act of speedy evacuation of over nine lakh people from the coastal districts ensure minimum casualty in cyclone Phailin.
Yesterday, two union ministers, S Jaipal Reddy and Mullappally Ramachandran, at a press conference highlighted the achievement of IMD, NDMA and various central government agencies in tackling the situation successfully.
"This very severe cyclone we predicted exactly. The track (of cyclone) we predicted exactly. The intensity we predicated exactly. Because of our early prediction, huge evacuation took place ... Our nation can congratulate itself," Jaipal Reddy had said.