Kolkata,19 May(HS): Union Home Minister Amit Shah today called up Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the phone and assured her of all assistance to face the onslaught of super cyclone Amphan which is about to lash West Bengal tomorrow with a possible wind speed of over 190 km per hour, capable of creating havoc and the largescale destruction of life and property.
According to informed sources at Nabanna this afternoon, the Union Home Minister who held a high-level meeting with all senior officials of the Disaster Management units in New Delhi yesterday, to which the Chief Minister expressed her displeasure for not being informed earlier, in his telephonic conversation discussed in details about the steps taken by both the state as well as the Union government in dealing with the impending danger and the natural calamity
After coming to know about the steps taken by the West Bengal government, Shah informed that the Centre had deployed as many as 25 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in both Bengal and Odisha. In addition, 12 more NDRF teams have been kept reserved and ready to deploy them at very short notice anywhere including in the coastal districts of West Bengal which was about to face the major brunt of the ferocity and devastation of Amphan.
Reassuring the state of all help and assistance from the Centre to face the possible calamity, the Union Home Minister also repeatedly requested the Chief Minister for remaining in constant touch with the Union Home ministry for any further assistance.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal government has remained in full alert and has launched a massive evacuation programme to shift a large number of villagers and other people living near the Digha, Manadmoni and other nearby coastal areas in East and West Midnapore, North and South 24 Parganas districts besides in Howarah to several concrete shelter homes set up by the state government.
Even a large number of pet and domesticated animals like cows and goats have also been sheltered in some these shelter homes, the reports said.
Apart from constant miking by the Police and the Civil Defence personnel since Saturday asking people to remain in full alert and take immediate steps to move out in case of any emergency tomorrow with their minimum belongings, a number of cyclone monitoring centres, relief camps and other help desks have also been set up in all the South Bengal districts with enough manpower to initiate immediate action if necessary.
Huge stocks of relief materials and arrangements of food for the sheltered people for the next four to five days had also been made, the sources said.
In view of the likelihood of heavy to very heavy rain in almost all South Bengal districts including in Kolkata from tomorrow, adequate steps have been taken to prevent waterlogging and felling of trees or light posts because of strong wind in the form of the gale, the sources informed.