“The government has taken all steps to meet the cyclone situation. The fishermen who went for deep-sea fishing will be alerted about the cyclone with the help of the Indian Coast Guard,” Sathyagopal told the media in Tirunelveli on Sunday. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned of cyclone ‘Gaja’ taking shape near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
It is set to cross the coast in northern Tamil Nadu and southern Andhra Pradesh by November 15. The forecast gave rise to apprehensions and fear as Chennai had seen similar disasters in the past two years, the latest being cyclone Vardah in 2016. The IMD had issued a red alert for the state then.
However, the government made it clear that a red alert had nothing to do with people and it was more of a ‘preparedness directive’ to officials.
“It is just a red colour code from the IMD that the entire state of Tamil Nadu will receive extremely heavy rain on November 15. The red colour code is an internal communication sent to the government to make sure that all required steps are taken well in advance,” Sathyagopal said.
He said IMD warnings were in four colour codes ranging from green to red. It was all meant for administrators to take the requisite steps to tackle the situation.
“Meetings of the district disaster management authority (DDMA) were held. The Tamil Nadu Disaster Management Team is also ready to handle any emergency situation,” he said.
Apart from the disaster management teams, 80-member contingents of disaster-response trained personnel had been deployed for every coastal district and 50-member ones for other districts, Sathyagopal said.