The district administration has geared up to meet all potential disaster situations posed by Cyclone Ward that is expected to cross the Nagapattinam coast. A special 120-member Anti-disaster Task Force has arrived from Arakkonam to provide the required expertise in the event of potential disaster, when it strikes the coast.
Cyclone shelters in 28 locations, along with 13 multi-purpose buildings have been set up to provide shelter in the event of evacuation. Further, all coastline school buildings would serve as shelters.
Fisheries department had earlier instructed fisherfolk to stay away from the sea and Village Committees have been given the necessary directions.
Departments of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj would ensure safe chlorinated drinking water. Joint Director of Health would ensure stock of anti-Cholera drugs, and doctors and paramedics on leave have been directed to join duty immediately. Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation has been requested to keep stock of flood rice.
Department of Transport would ensure that availability of buses for long-distance evacuations. Firqa-wise monitoring would be under 31 Zonal Officers, functioning under the District Revenue Officer.
Later, A. Annadurai, District Revenue Officer, at a meeting of Tahsildars had given necessary instructions to ensure speedy information dissemination and efficient evacuation. District Treasury and the State Bank of India would function on Sunday. Tahsildars would hold liquid cash of Rs. 4 lakh each to ensure speedy relief and recovery, when the need arose. The DRO has instructed Tahsildars to maintain proper records for funds usage. Fisherfolk were directed to secure their catamarans and boats to safe locations.
Fire Service and rescue personnel have been put on red alert. The Superintendent of Police would ensure availability of the Police force to pitch in administrative efforts. Further, on the Naval Detachment’s part, personnel, materials and boats were reported to be in a prepared state.
Additionally, electric and generator-based saws have been made available to ensure quick removal of felled trees. Department officials should avail their services.
Collector C. Munianathan has appealed to the media not to create uncalled-for panic and stated that people were kept abreast of the situation through the visual media.
Nagapattinam has a 188 km coast line, with over 206 hamlets situated in low-lying areas. Mr. Munianathan headed a consultative meeting on Saturday with all department officials, the Police and the Navy to ascertain the degree of preparedness.
Further, a 24-hour flood control room has been in operation (toll free number-1077 and 04365-253048). Signal 3 for Cyclone warning stood hoisted at the Port Office.