New Delhi: As the "extremely severe" cyclonic storm 'Fani' is likely to hit Odisha's shores on Friday, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has taken a series of pre-emptive measures such as deployment of ships with disaster relief material, use of Dornier aircraft to warn fishing boats and special community interaction programmes in coastal areas, according to an official statement.
The ICG said it has implemented the lessons learnt from Cyclone Ockhi, which hit Tamil Nadu and Kerala coasts in 2017, to ensure safety of lives at sea.
"Fisheries authorities, state authorities and local administration were warned April 23, 2019, onwards for precautionary measures," the ICG said in its statement.
To ensure that widespread precautionary measures are in place in areas likely to be affected by the cyclonic storm, the ICG is closely liasioning with state administration as well as the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
The storm over the Bay of Bengal that lay centred about 660 km south-southwest of Puri is now ominously rolling towards the Odisha coast at a speed of 14 km per hour. It is expected to cross Puri May 3 afternoon, packing winds up to 175 kmph before landfall.
The ICG said Wednesday that its "ships have been kept on standby for mobilisation of disaster relief material" in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Odisha and West Bengal.
"Four Dornier sorties are being launched every day on an average for alerting fishing boats from Chennai, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata," it said, adding "special community interactions" were conducted at 12 places such as Tuticorin, Pamban, Villupuram, Chennai and Haldia.
The ICG has kept total 20 Disaster Response Teams on standby at six places -- four each in Vizag, Chennai, Paradip and Haldia and two each in Gopalpur and Frazergunj.
"Teams (are) ready for mobilisation at short notice with lifesaving equipment," the Coast Guard said.