Telecommunication resources have played a crucial role in alerting people about the Yaas cyclone as more than 6 crore bulk SMS/messages were sent in local languages to residents. In addition to that, voice alert messages were sent for the first time to the residents, facilitated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) with the help of telecom operators using Outbound Dialler infrastructure. More than 60 lakh subscribers were reached through voice messages in local languages. All the operators have undertaken the exercise free of cost.
As per a statement from the Communications Ministry, the common alert protocol (CAP) was extensively used by state disaster management authorities (SDMAs) in West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to disseminate the cyclone alert messages free of cost. A total of more than 6 crore bulk SMS/messages were sent in local languages alerting residents. Of these 3.87 crore were in West Bengal, 2.43 crore in Odisha and 36.4 lakh in Andhra Pradesh.
The cyclone impacted districts are East Medinipur, West Medinipur, Bankura, South 24 Pargana and Jhargram in West Bengal and Balasore, Bhadrak, Jagatsingpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj in Odisha. Review and restoration action meetings at the level of DoT Secretary were held before the cyclone and also today. Intra circle roaming (ICR) has been ordered by the telecom secretary in select districts. This will enable customers to latch on to whichever telecom network is available in their area without any extra cost. More than 1,000 optical fibre and restoration team were stationed in districts likely to be impacted before the landfall of the cyclone.
The combined efforts of telcos and infrastructure providers coordinated by DoT has ensured that restoration of the damaged network has commenced and even the minimal outages in the telecom networks will be restored very quickly.