Cyclone Yaas’ impact minimal on telecom, 6 crore bulk messages sent to warn people: Centre

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The Ministry of communications on Wednesday revealed that the impact of Cyclone Yaas on telecommunications services in the worst-hit regions of Odisha and West Bengal was minimal. The ministry referred this to the combined efforts of telecom service providers (TSPs) and infrastructure providers guided and managed by the department of telecommunications (DoT).

In a release, the ministry said, “The combined efforts have ensured that restoration of the damaged network has commenced and even the minimal outages in the telecom networks will be restored very quickly.”

The ministry stated the review and restoration meetings were organized prior to the cyclone landfall on Wednesday morning and also at 6 pm in the evening. The meeting was attended by telecom service providers and infrastructure providers who gave feedback, added the ministry.

The release revealed the usual warning protocol of DoT was utilised by state disaster management authorities (SDMAs) in West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh who circulated the messages of alert free of cost. The ministry said, “A total of more than 6 crore bulk SMS/messages were sent in local languages alerting local residents. Of these 3.87 crore were in West Bengal, 2.43 crore in Odisha and 36.4 lacs in Andhra Pradesh.”

The statement further added, “In addition for the first time Voice Alert Messages were also sent, facilitated by Department of Telecommunications with the help of Telecom Service Providers(TSPs) using Outbound Dialler (OBD) infrastructure. More than 60 lakh subscribers were reached through OBD in local languages (36.5 lacs in West Bengal and 21.5 lacs in Odisha ). TSPs have undertaken this outreach activity free of cost.”

Cyclone Yaas, gushing the winds up to 130 – 145 kmph, hit the country’s eastern coast on Wednesday, leading to heavy rainfall thereby damaging the houses and farmlands. 

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