Bhubaneswar: As cyclone Gulab made landfall on the evening of September 26, the southern coast of Odisha and adjoining area experienced heavy rainfall due to effect of cyclone.
Indian Coast Guard (ICG), with the first indication of Low pressure in Bay of Bengal as early as on 24th September, geared-up its response and preparations towards preventive and pre-emptive measures in the states of West Bengal and Odisha to minimise the loss of life and property at sea.
A special team of ICG was formed to monitor the preparations and coordinate with civil agencies to mitigate any threat posed by the Cyclonic storm. ICG ships and aircraft have been extensively deployed at sea to broadcast and alert fishing boats and merchant vessels about the Cyclone warning.
All ICG units including aviation assets have been maintaining high level of readiness to respond to emergent maritime SAR and disaster relief contingencies.
Coordinated efforts of ICG, fisheries and civil administration has ensured return of 260 fishing boats from the state of Odisha, which were reported to be operating at sea, to nearest fishing harbour/ place of safety. The fisheries authorities of West Bengal have also reported return of all fishing boats to safety.
Few boats of West Bengal have taken shelter in creek areas. ICG ships at sea urged the fishing boats from Andhra Pradesh operating close to Odisha coast to take shelter in nearest port and shepherded these boats to Paradip/ Gopalpur. Close liaison and coordinated efforts of Indian Coast Guard and fisheries authorities of West Bengal and Odisha ensured accounting of all fishing boats and their safe return to harbour.
Further, ICG ‘Remote Operating Station’ (ROS) at Paradip and Haldia are incessantly relaying weather alert messages on MMB radio at regular intervals to alert both fishing and merchant fleet. Ships at anchorage are being monitored by ICG ‘ROS’ and are advised to take necessary safety measures. Close liaison and continuous communication is being maintained by ICG ROS with Ports for safety of ships at anchorage.
In addition, Coast Guard Disaster Relief Teams (DRTs) have been formed by all CG stations in West Bengal and Odisha for undertaking disaster response operations. These DRTs have been carrying out regular drills/ exercises at unit level as part of training and are adequately equipped with disaster relief gears/ equipment including inflatable boats, Life buoys and lifejackets.
In addition, Pollution Response equipment/ gears have also been kept standby for quick mobilisation and response in case of any eventuality. All actions and response measures are being undertaken maintaining COVID-19 protocol.