MADURAI: The Coastal Security Group (CSG) and fisheries department have stepped up security and rescue measures as part of their preparedness to face Cyclone Fani, which is intensifying in the Bay of Bengal and could impact the southern coast of Tamil Nadu.
A senior CSG officer in Ramanathapuram told TOI that they started preparations when the first alert of a possible cyclone was raised five days ago. âWe have deployed close to 250 CSG personnel and officers on high alert in Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai and Thanjavur districts with the required equipment and gear,â he said.
CSG personnel have been engaged in warning fishermen not to venture into the sea for fishing, and to communicate with those at sea to return to safety without delay. âThrough mikes we popularised the CSG centralised helpline number 1093 to alert us on any distress,â he added.
Expert swimmers and search and rescue personnel of the CSG have been stationed in police stations close to the sea. âWe are working in coordination with the respective district administrations, police, revenue and fisheries departments and local intelligence agencies to stay abreast on the developments,â the officer said.
He added that the readiness will be in place till the situation is under control.
Meanwhile, the fisheries department carried out measures like appealing through mosques in Ramanathapuram district, affixing posters on notice boards and making announcements through speakers asking fishermen not to venture into the sea until further orders.
This was based on an alert from the fisheries department based on the IMD on Thursday evening. âThough the cyclone is moving northward and may not hit the state and could cross further north of India, the sea is rough and the alert is likely to remain till May 3,â he said.
Mechanised boats have not ventured into the sea from April 14 since there is a 61-day ban on deep sea and multi-day fishing. The alert is primarily for thousands of country crafts and fibre boats as they engage in daily fishing. âMonitoring has been stepped up in these pockets,â a fisheries department official said.
The department is also monitoring the number of boats going for fishing on a daily basis using âThoondilâ software that gives it a fair idea on the number of boats that have illegally gone fishing despite the warning.