The ‘Very Severe Cyclonic Storm’ Yaas that made landfall south of Balasore in Odisha on Wednesday tore into the bordering regions of West Bengal and Odisha and weakened into a cyclonic storm, leaving behind a trail of destruction in its wake on the eastern coast.
Five persons were killed — four in Odisha and one in West Bengal.
Here are the latest updates:
Odisha CM announces 7 days' relief for 128 marooned villages
With 128 villages across the coastal region of Odisha remaining inundated by Cyclone Yaas inducted tidal surge and rainwater, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday announced seven days' relief for the affected families.
He also directed officials to ensure that all major roads affected by the cyclone be repaired and 80 per cent of electricity supply in affected districts be restored within the next 24 hours.
Mr Patnaik made the announcement after reviewing the situation created in the aftermath of the cyclone which is still active in the district of Mayurbnajh and is likely to leave the state by midnight.
Official sources said that most of the marooned villages were in Balasore and Bhadrak districts which bore the brunt of the cyclone.
Some of the affected villages witnessed the rushing of saline water due to tidal surge, while others are flooded because of the downpour.
The people of those 128 villages will be provided with cooked food or cooking materials and dry food for seven days.
Local panchayat bodies and block level officials will make the arrangements for it, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said.
"The road communication to these villages remained cut off because water is still running on roads connecting them," Jena said.
Of the 605 roads of works and rural development departments, repairing is being done in 495 while work for the remaining ones will be completed within 24 hours, he said.
The power restoration work has started in Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Jajpur districts which will be completed soon. In Balasore and Bhadrak, it will also be taken up on a war footing to meet the deadline, the SRC said.
Mr Patnaik thanked doctors and health workers for their service in the affected districts during the cyclone which hit the coast north of Dhamra in Bhadrak district and 50 km south of Balasore, close to Bahanaga block, around 9 am.
Patnaik also asked officials to undertake health check-up of over 6.5 lakh people who were taken to cyclone shelters and test samples of suspected Covid-19 patients. - PTI
One crore affected in West Bengal, says CM
At least one crore people have been affected by Cyclone Yaas in West Bengal, said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Over 15 lakh people have been evacuated and three lakh houses have been damaged, she added. Ms. Banerjee said that one death has been reported due to accidental drowning.
The Chief Minister said that extensive damage to agriculture due to huge ingress of saline water in agriculture fields. There were reports of breach of embankments at 134 places in the State.
Speaking to officials, Ms. Banerjee said that they should come up a permanent solution for repairing of embankments as every year cyclones are causing severe damage to the embankments. She also urged people to remain indoors and be cautious during the high tide for next two days.
Yaas weakens to severe cyclonic storm
The very severe cyclonic storm Yaas has weakened into a severe cyclonic storm as of 1.40 p.m. on Wednesday, the India Meteorological Department said on Twitter .
It added that the cyclone lies centered over north coastal Odisha about 15 km west-southwest of Balasore. It is currently has an intensity of 110-120 kmph gusting to 130 kmph near centre.
Jharkhand and Odisha are expected to get extremely heavy rainfall during the next 12 hours, at least.
Restoration work in Balasore and Bhadrak began soon after the cyclone moved away from Balasore district.
“National Disaster Response Force and State fire service personnel started road clearance by removing uprooted trees in Jajpur, Jagatsingpur and Kendrapara where not much damage was observed. By 4 p.m., the road communication will be restored. Power restoration works have begun on a war-footing in the three districts,” informed Mr. Jena.
The cyclone caused major damage to the tree cover in Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts. Thousands of trees were reported to have fallen in Nilagiri area of Balasore district.
“Similipal Biosphere in Mayurbhanj district has been receiving heavy rain since Tuesday and it is still continuing. Water flowing down from Similipal usually feeds Burhabalanga river. The district administration is assessing if it could result in flash flood. Keeping this in mind, villagers from low-lying areas on both sides of Burhabalanga are being shifted to safer places,” he said.
10 moved to safety by rescue team in Odisha after boat capsizes in river
The NDRF, together with the district administration of Jagatsinghpur in Odisha, has rescued 10 people from a river after their boat capsized, amid rough weather conditions under the influence of cyclone 'Yaas'.
In a video tweeted by the Jagatsinghpur district collector, rescue personnel on Tuesday night can be seen holding on to an inflatable boat as people disembarked.
"Fantastic work by NDRF and BDO, Erasama during #CycloneYaas rescuing 10 people in the late night from a river after their boat capsized," the Jagatsinghpur district collector Sangram K Mohapatra tweeted on Wednesday.
He further said that the arduous operation was carried out in the midst of light drizzle and 45-kmph wind speed. - PTI
High alert in Jharkhand, evacuation on amid cyclone threat
Jharkhand, which was put on high alert, continued evacuating low-lying areas on Wednesday amid the forecast that cyclone Yaas would be hitting the state by midnight after pounding neighbouring Odisha and West Bengal, officials said.
Operations are being executed on war-footing in the vulnerable areas in East and West Singhbhum, besides some other districts, in view of the very severe cyclonic storm Yaas, Disaster Management Secretary Amitabh Kaushal told PTI.
"We are witnessing high-speed wind and have evacuated about 6,000 persons from thatched houses and danger zones to shelter homes in safer locations," East Singhbhum Deputy Commissioner Suraj Kumar said.
People are being shifted from low-lying areas near the two rivers in the district that are below the danger mark at present, he said. - PTI
Six flights cancelled at Mumbai Airport
Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has said that as many as six flights, including three departures, have been cancelled in view of cyclone Yaas in the Bay of Bengal.
The flights to other regions, however, continue to operate as per schedule, CSMIA said a statement.
In light of the developments around Cyclone Yaas in the Bay of Bengal, the airport witnessed cancellation of flights between Mumbai to Kolkata and Bhubaneswar, CSMIA said.
Approximately six flights, three arrivals and departures each, have been cancelled so far, it said. - PTI
The Yaas system has crossed coast to the south of Balasore as of 10.30 a.m., according to IMD. The process is expected to take two hours to complete.
Andhra’s north coastal districts gears up to mitigate Yaas cyclonic storm
Administration of North Coastal Districts of Andhra Pradesh isgearing up to mitigate the impact of very severe cyclonic storm Yaas, which is currently 160 km away from Paradeep of Odisha State.
The distance between Paradeep and Itchapuram, a town on the AP border, is 297 km. Although the impact would be greater on West Bengal and Odisha, the storm is expected to bring heavy downpour for Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts, which are adjacent to Odisha.
As many as eight mandals that have previously been devastated by cyclones such as Laila, Phailin, Hud-Hud and Titli are expected to be affected by the Yaas cyclonic storm. Although the situation is currently calm in Tekkali division which covers Uddanam region, the district administration is anticipating havoc when the cyclone crosses the coast. AP Chief Secretary Adityanath Das and Srikakulam Collector J.Nivas have been monitoring the situation from Srikakulam Collector’s office.
NDRF teams have already reached Srikakulam district to monitor the situation. Srikakulam District Fire Officer Ch.Kripavaram told The Hindu that senior officials were sent to the Itchapuram, Sompeta, Mandasa, Vajrapukotturu mandals to handle the possible crisis. A control room has been set up at the Srikakulam Collector’s office (08942-24055) to monitor the cyclone situation. Vizianagaram district administration is anticipating heavy downpour in the Pusapatirega and Bhogapuram coastal mandals from Wednesday night. Vizianagaram Collector M.Hari Jawaharlal said that arrangements have been made to restore electricity in case of its failure with the impact of Yaas cyclone. He said that there would not be any cause for worry over oxygen supply for COVID-19 patients.
Embankments damaged: Mamata
Damage reported in embankment at several places in Purba Medinipur and South 24 Parganas. Embankment damaged at 51 places in Purba Medinipur and 15 places in South 24 Parganas, according to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
About 11 lakh people evacuated from coastal areas of West Bengal, including 3.88 lakh in Purba Medinipur. Damage to houses and uprooting of trees reported. In West Bengal the breaching of embankments due to high tide is a concern, Ms. Banerjee said. - Shiv Sahay Singh
Telecom infra providers ready with post-cyclone measures
Telecom infrastructure providers, along with service providers, have taken necessary steps such as readiness of Cell on Wheels (CoWs), arrangement of spare batteries, adequate amount of diesel and DG (Diesel Generator) sets and ramping up of teams to mitigate the impact of cyclone ‘Yaas’, the Tower & Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA) has said.
Intense convective cloud mass has already entered Odisha coast. Areas of most intense convection are seen in the southwest sector, says IMD. - Satyasundar Barik
Calcutta HC not to hear cases today
Calcutta High Court not to hear any matter today. The five-judge Bench was scheduled to hear the controversial Narada case during the day.
"Keeping in view the report of the Meteorological Department on the cyclone ‘Yaas’, which is likely to cause widespread damage and heavy rainfall, as a precautionary measure, all electronic gadgets and devices for E-Connectivity of the Court shall remain shut. The Government has intimated the Registrar General that it might not be possible for it to provide transport facilities to the employees of this Court on 26th May, 2021 and 27th May, 2021. Consequently, the judicial proceedings fixed tomorrow are suspended," the court said in a notice issued on May 25.
Landfall commences, says IMD
The IMD said that the landfall process of very severe cyclonic storm Yaas has commenced at 9 a.m. The storm is centered about 50 km south-southeast of Balasore in Odisha, it said in a statement on Twitter.
The landfall process has begun and will take 3-4 hours to complete the process. The maximum impact will be in Balasore and Bhadrak district, Odisha's Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P.K. Jena told reporters.
Several low-lying areas close to coast in Balasore and Bhadrak districts were inundated due to heavy rain and tidal surge, he said, adding that areas falling on the right side of landfall would witness high tidal surge.
With very severe cyclonic storm Yaas nearing the coast, tidal surge has started inundating several low-lying areas of Bhadrak and Balasore in Odisha.
According to Uma Shankar Das, a scientist with Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre, there is probability of tidal surge rising between 1.5 metre and 3.5 metre in Bhadrak district. The tidal water could inundate up to 9 km landmass of the district.
Blocked roads being cleared
NDRF chief S.N. Pradhan said that the landfall process of Yaas would commence within a couple of hours to cross north Odisha coast to the north Dhamra and south of Balasore.
He attributed the update to IMD.
Mr. Pradhan shared videos of the trees and electric wires swaying to intense winds, and tweeted photographs of the NDRF teams clearing blocked roads in Medinipur, West Bengal, and Balasore, Odisha.
Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik took to Twitter to share his latest work on the cyclone. "Don't Panic, Stay Safe," he wrote.
Yaas lay centres over northwest Bay of Bengal about 40 km east of Dhamra
The very severe cyclonic storm, Yaas lay centred over northwest Bay of Bengal about 40 km east of Dhamra, 80 km south-southwest of Digha and 80 km south-southeast of Balasore, says IMD. The cyclone would cross the coast between Dhamra and Balasore with 130-140 kmph gusting to 155 kmph.
Strong wind and heavy rain lashed Bhadrak and Balasore district. Mayurbhanj district has been put on high alert.
Heavy rainfall in interior areas of Odisha
The very severe cyclonic storm, Yaas lay-centred over northwest Bay of Bengal about 60 km east of Dhamra of Bhadrak district and 90 km east-northeast of Paradip, and 105 km south-southeast of Balasore (Odisha) and 100 km south of Digha (West Bengal) with wind speeds of 130-140 kmph gusting to 155 kmph was prevailing around the system. The cyclone is moving at 15 km per hour.
Under the impact of cyclone, coastal and interior Odisha have received heavy rainfall and trees have been uprooted. During past 20 hours, Chandbali recorded highest 229 mm rainfall followed by Paradip with 180 mm. Bhubaneswar received 30 mm rainfall.
According to Odisha Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena the landfall could take place around 10-11 am and disaster response forces have been asked to start rescue operations only after cyclone fully crosses the coast.
Forces on high alert
With severe cyclone Yaas set to make landfall on the Eastern coast on May 26, the Army and Navy deployed relief and diving teams in West Bengal in coordination with the local administration. In addition, the Navy and Coast Guard have also kept ships and aircraft on standby.
As part of the preparations in West Bengal, the Navy said two Navy diving teams and five Flood Relief Teams (FRT), comprising specialised Navy personnel with associated equipment and inflatable boats, have been deployed to the State.
“In addition, one diving and two FRT each have been positioned at Digha and Frazerganj on May 23 and 24 respectively. One FRT has been kept on standby at Diamond Harbour, for redeployment as necessary, at short notice,” it said in a statement.
( With inputs from our Correspondents Satyasundar Barik, Shiv Sahay Singh and agencies