Indian Coast Guard (ICG) initiated a large-scale series of pre-emptive and proactive measures to prevent loss of fishermen lives at sea in the wake of alerts on cyclone in Bay of Bengal since November 9. Lessons from cyclone Ockhi and success in preventing loss of lives during recent cyclones Luban and Titliwere put into practice by the ICG.
Around eight ICG ships and two Dornier aircraft were pressed into action since November 09, 2018 for issuance of advisories and warnings in local languages to fishermen at sea for their safe return to ports. The Coast Guard Remote Operating Stations commenced issuance of warnings for fishermen in local languages.
Cyclone ‘Gaja’ intensified into a severe cyclonic storm today and is expected to cross the south Tamil Nadu coast by early tomorrow and rains starts from mid-night. As of 8 pm, Cyclone Gaja lay centred at about 126 km east of Karaikal, was very likely to cross the coast between Cuddalore and Pamban around Nagapattinam, after weakening into a cyclone, according to the Indian Meterological department.
The Indian Coast Guard requested fisheries authorities at Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to account for all fishing boats. The ICG conducted series of community interaction programmes at Kanyakumari, Mandapam, Rameswaram, Cuddalore, Chennai, Nellore, Nizampatnam, Uppada and Vishakhapatnam to sensitise fishermen and coastal population for taking safety measures for the impending cyclone.
Anticipating the need of relief material and essential items post impact of cyclone in Southern Tamil Nadu areas of Mandapam and Karaikal. One large ICG ship with Helicopter embarked was sailed from Vishakhapatnam with relief items such as potable drinking water, essential medicines, packaged food and life-saving material to southern Tamil Nadu coast. Three other ICG ships were also sailed from Chennai for Mandapam on November15, for augmenting search and rescue and post cyclone relief operations.