10 NDRF teams ready; police shift homeless
As a cyclone is expected to hit Mumbai, Thane and other parts of the State, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has placed 10 teams on standby, while the Mumbai Police have started relocating the homeless to temporary shelters.
NDRF officials said three teams are on standby in Mumbai, two in Palghar, two in Raigad, and one each in Thane, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. Their exact locations of deployment will be decided as per latest information from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday.
“Keeping in mind the dual challenges of responding to situations in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have provided kits to all our personnel. Each kit comprises two full face masks, elbow-length gloves, raincoats with extensions that cover the face, soaps, sanitisers and detergent. All our personnel have been briefed on the procedures to be followed in light of the pandemic,” Commandant Anupam Srivastava, NDRF, said.
He said each team consists of 25-30 personnel, depending on the area where the teams are being deployed, while additional units have been kept ready.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police have started shifting people to safety. Officials said the lockdown rules will be enforced even more strictly over the next two days so that presence of people on the streets can be kept to a minimum.
“We are moving the homeless and those staying in temporary or unsafe structures to safer locations. This is being done in collaboration with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Messages are being sent out via social media platforms, urging citizens to stay indoors, while patrolling and deployment is being planned in accordance with the task at hand,” Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Pranaya Ashok said.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has kept its disaster management control room and all necessary departments on high alert. All 24 ward offices have been ordered to relocate people living in flood-prone areas to nearby schools.
The BMC has appealed to people not to step out during the period of the cyclone and not to stand under treesor electricity poles. All hospitals have been asked to ensure generators are in place. Industrial establishments and petrochemical companies have been directed to ensure their material is safe and does not pose a hazard.
Commenting on the preparations in view of the cyclone, P.S. Rahangdale, chief fire officer, said, “We have 94 life guards and 12 flood response teams on high alert. Search and rescue vehicles like jet ski, rescue boats, surf boats and kayaks, other than life jackets, are also ready. We are prepared.”
(With inputs from Tanvi Deshpande)
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