The Indian Coast Guard has initiated a slew of proactive measures to ensure Indian fishermen are not lost at sea in the wake of warnings issued over the threat Cyclone Gaja poses
The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has started a large-scale series of pre-emptive and proactive measures to prevent loss of fishermen lives at sea in the wake of alerts on cyclone in Bay of Bengal since November 09, 2018. The lessons ICG learnt from cyclones Ockhi, Luban and Titliwere are being put into practice by the Coast Guard.
Since November 9, 2018, eight Coast Guard ships and two Dornier aircraft have been pressed into action. These vessels and aircraft are being used to issue advisories and warnings in local languages to fishermen at sea for their safe return to ports. The Coast Guard Remote Operating Stations commenced issuing warnings for fishermen in local languages.
The Indian Coast Guard asked fisheries authorities in the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to track and account for all fishing boats. The ICG conducted series of community interaction programmes at Kanyakumari, Mandapam, Rameswaram, Cuddalore, Chennai, Nellore, Nizampatnam, Uppada and Vishakhapatnam to sensitise fishermen and coastal populace to take safety measures in the wake of the impending cyclone.
One large ICG ship with Helicopter embarked was sent from Vishakhapatnam with relief items such as potable drinking water, essential medicines, packaged food and life-saving material to southern Tamil Nadu coast. This was done in anticipation of the need for relief material and essential items after the impact of the cyclone in Southern Tamil Nadu areas of Mandapam and Karaikal.
Three other ICG ships were also sent from Chennai for Mandapam on November 15, 2018 for augmenting search and rescue and post cyclone relief operations. Further, merchant vessels transiting at deep seas were requested through International Safety Net by Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (Chennai) to alert fishermen at deep seas for early return and shelter at nearest ports.
Indian Coast Guard has kept Coast Guard response teams at short notice at Chennai, Mandapam, Karaikal and Puducherry for immediate response. The ICG is closely coordinating with state fisheries authorities, port authorities and civil administration for reducing impact of the impending cyclone.
Similar warnings have also been issued for the western coast, as the likelihood of formation of a low pressure exists in the Arabian Sea from November 17, 2018 onwards.