As Cyclone Nada is building up over South West Bay of Bengal and is poised to strike the coasts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, the Indian Navy's Eastern Naval Command has assumed a high degree of readiness to render necessary humanitarian assistance.
An Indian Navy release said two ships -- INS Shakti and INS Satpura - are standing by to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake humanitarian aid distress relief (HADR), evacuation, logistic support including providing medical aid.
These ships are embarked with additional divers, doctors, inflatable rubber boats, integral helicopters and relief material that include food, tents, clothes, medicines, blankets etc, in quantities sufficient to sustain over 5,000 personnel, the release. Additionally INS Ranjit, presently deployed in the Bay of Bengal, has been positioned off Tamil Nadu coast and would be the first responder for HADR operation, if required.
The Eastern Naval Command is monitoring the developments closely and Flag Officer Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Naval Area is in constant communication with the state administration to augment rescue and relief operations.
Naval aircraft are also standing by at naval air stations Rajali and Dega to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, casualty evacuation and air drop of relief material to the stranded.
Additionally, diving teams with Gemini boats and four platoons with additional relief material are ready to be pressed into action at short notice.
A cyclone alert has been sounded in Tamil Nadu in view of deep depression forming over the Bay of Bengal.
Chennai, the coastal regions of the state and Puducherry are likely to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall over the next two days.
Area Cyclone Warning Centre director S Balachandran said the cyclone was expected to move in west-northwest direction and would cross between Vedaranyam and Puducherry in the early hours of 2 December.
"The well-marked low pressure area, which was lying over the southeast bay yesterday intensified further and intensifies the cyclone storm. And this morning (Wednesday), at 8:30, lying at about 735 kilometer southeast of Puducherry or Southwest of Bay of Bengal," said Balachandran in Chennai.
He added that this cyclone has been named Nada. In the wake of the approaching system, light to moderate rain are likely to commence over the coastal regions.
India is one of the most disaster-prone nations in the world and many of its 1.2 billion people live in areas vulnerable to hazards such as floods, cyclones and droughts.
Freak weather patterns not only affect agricultural output and food security, but also lead to water shortages and trigger outbreaks of water and mosquito-borne diseases such as diarrhea and malaria in many developing nations.