Narayanasamy said Defence Minister A.K. Antony has made preparations for the army, navy and air force personnel to be ready to confront the challenge.
"The Government of Andhra Pradesh has also made arrangements; the Government of Odisha has also made arrangements. The Government of India is monitoring that disaster management authorities are already on the job and the Government of India is very much concerned about the calamity that is going to happen to prevent loss of life and loss of property," Narayanasamy told media in Chennai.
"All the steps have been taken by both the respective state governments and the Government of India," he added.
The Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force have already been put on alert for relief and rescue operations in the coastal districts.
The Indian Air Force's latest strategic transport aircraft, the C-17 Globemaster, undertook its first sortie towards transporting of relief materials, including specialist army vehicles and ambulance from bases in central India to Bhubaneswar, ahead of the arrival of Cyclone Phailin.
The C-17 airlifted 60 troops and rescue and medical material, including heavy vehicles and ambulance from Allahabad before landing at Bhubaneswar at around 8.15 a.m. today. Additionally, the IAF has already started transporting NDRF personnel and other heavy relief equipment by IL-76s and AN-32 from various bases across the country.
The IAF has also kept in readiness two C-130J Super Hercules towards rescue and relief efforts.
Mi-17 V5 helicopters are also standing by in Barrackpore, near Kolkata ready to fly into Odisha for rescue and relief activities, as and when required.
Director General of the MET Department, L.S. Rathore, earlier in the day said the disaster would continue to have an impact in the affected regions for at least 24 hours after the cyclone hits the coasts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Rathore, who gave an update of the cyclonic storm Phailin, also confirmed that there was no scope of the cyclone weakening prior to the landfall hit.
"After it hits, Phailin will continue for six hours as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm, six hours as Cyclonic Storm, and then another 12 hours as a depression and move northwestwards. So, the total (impact) will last for 24 hours," Rathore said.
"Both intensity of wind and rainfall will increase as the day progresses....The storm surge is expected to have a height of 3 to 3.5 metre. ...It will not weaken before it crosses the coast," he confirmed.
Apart from the storm striking Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, its impact is expected to be felt in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Gangetic West Bengal, Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh, where heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely.
As per the latest reports, cyclonic storm Phailin is closing in towards coastal Odisha and Andhra Pradesh at wind speeds averaging 200-210 km per hour and is expected to hit the two states between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. today.
Massive evacuation operations have been taking place since yesterday evening, and the MET Department has confirmed that the process is almost complete in an attempt to minimize damage.
Nearly three lakh people have been evacuated in Odisha. More than one lakh people from the north coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh are being evacuated from the vulnerable areas on the path of the cyclone.
Authorities in the two states have warned of extensive damage to crops, village dwellings and old buildings, as well as disruption of power, water and rail services.
Shelters were being stocked with rations, and leave for government employees for Dussehra have been cancelled.
Indian Railways have cancelled seven long-route express trains including Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express and also short terminated and diverted a number of trains in view of the sever cyclone Phailin. All trains on the Howrah-Visakhapatnam route have been cancelled. The trains are likely to be cancelled tomorrow as well
As many as 17 flights from Biju Patnaik airport at Bhubaneswar have also been cancelled.
--ANI (Posted on 12-10-2013)