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With cyclone Tauktae headed towards Gujarat and Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called for special preparedness for covid hospitals in view of the cyclone. He said measures need to be taken to maintain the vaccine cold chain, power back up and storage of essential medicines in vulnerable locations.

Modi said this during a high-level meeting convened to review the preparedness of the cyclone. He directed senior officers to take every possible measure to ensure people are safely evacuated. “Ensure maintenance of all essential services such as Power, Telecommunications, health, drinking water,” he said.

Meanwhile, the weatherman has predicted the cyclonic storm to likely intensify further into a “very severe cyclonic storm” by late Saturday night. The India Meteorological Department said it was very likely to move north-northwestwards and cross Gujarat coast between Porbandar and Naliya around May 18.

As it would bring very heavy rainfall in that region, cities like Mumbai would not be affected much, the IMD added.

There will be strong winds and heavy rainfall at isolated places on May 17 over north Konkan, including Mumbai,

the met department said.

The National Disaster Response Force has increased the number of teams from 53 to 100 to undertake relief and rescue measures in view of the impending Cyclone Tauktae, an official said on Saturday.

Each NDRF team has a strength of a total 47 personnel and, hence, the total manpower identified for the task is 4,700 rescuers.

NDRF Director General S N Pradhan tweeted that these teams were being mobilised for deployment in the coastal regions of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Goa and Maharashtra.

On Friday, he had said 53 teams were being committed for the cyclonic storm that was developing in the Arabian sea.

The deployment of the NDRF teams has been increased following new inputs by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pradhan said.

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