Agartala, Oct 24: The Tripura government has sounded a high alert as the IMD predicted a cyclone accompanied by heavy rainfall may hit the state on October 24 and 25.
Army, Para-military forces, disaster management teams, and rescue authorities have been put on alert. In view of the IMD’s prediction, the state government has decided to keep all the schools and other educational institutions closed till October 26.
Chief Minister Dr. Manik Saha, who chaired a high-level meeting in presence of Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma, ICA Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, Tribal welfare minister Rampada Jamatia, Chief Secretary J K Sinha, DGP Amitabh Ranjan to review the preparedness, has made an appeal to all to stay alert and not to panic.
In a social media post, the Chief Minister wrote, “My appeal to all people to stay alert & safe and not to panic. We are closely monitoring the situation on a real-time basis. All preparations have been put in place to deal with any eventuality. Everyone is requested to contact local administration in case of any emergency.”
While the Tripura government canceled all leaves of the employees for this week, the Airport Authority of India canceled the operation of all ATR flights in Agartala on October 24 and Northeast Frontier Railway canceled the special Diwali train for two days following the warning of storm and heavy rainfall for next 48 hrs across the state with the effect of super cyclone Sitrang.
Airport officials said that at least four ATR flights have been operating in the Agartala sector daily, which has been suspended for the day considering the weather condition.
However, the movement of Boeing and big aircraft would be usual until a serious emergency arises.
Tripura police on Monday postponed the cultural programme and burning of firecrackers in AD Nagar police ground to celebrate Diwali as cyclonic storm Sitrang has intensified. Earlier, IMD had issued a red alert for Tripura.
The Tripura government has ordered all educational institutes to remain shut till October 26.
The Minister for Information and Cultural Affairs briefed the media about the precautionary measures taken by the government.
In the press conference held at the civil secretariat, he was accompanied by the Principal Secretary of the Revenue department Puneet Agarwal, Secretary of the ICA department Dr. P.K. Chakraborty, State Project Officer Sharat Das, and IMD’s state director N. Kulkarni were present in the press conference.
According to Chowdhury, all the District Magistrates, and concerned departments have been asked to remain alert and prepared while the government has also decided to regulate public movements. Vehicular movements are also going to be regulated on road. Besides, the leaves of all officials have been canceled for one week.
In Matabari, all concerned departments have been asked to be extra careful and recheck and reconfirm the arrangements and safety measures.
The IMD, Disaster management authorities, and District Magistrates had a series of discussions and Video conferences on the impending situation and required arrangements– relating to evacuation, rescue, relief, and meeting the emergencies.
Later a press note issued by the Revenue department said, ‘due to low pressure and deep depression in the Bay of Bengal, Tripura is likely to be affected with heavy to extremely heavy rainfall with squally wind 50-60 KMPH gusting upto 70 KMPH at isolated places on 24 October 2022 and heavy to very heavy rainfall squally wind with 40- 50KMPH gusting upto 60KMPH on 25 October 2022. Maximum rainfall is expected upto 200mm in 24hrs.
As per the press note, the precautionary measures taken by the government are- NDRF has been requested to depute additional 5 teams for deployment in the state immediately. It is expected to deploy them in Kumarghat, Teliamura, Agartala, Udaipur, and Santirbazar.
Relief camps are advised to be notified, and relief materials are to be arranged in advance. Miking of the situation for the preparedness of the people should be done by ICA and local administrations, advising them to avoid moving out on 24 and 25 October.