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Cyclone ‘Yaas’ to make landfall by May 26 noon

Dark clouds hover in the sky ahead of landfall of Cyclone Yaas at Dhulagarh in Howrah district on May 24, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said the State was in the process of evacuating about 10 lakh people from the coastal areas to cyclone shelters in view of impending cyclone ‘Yaas’.

Officials of the Regional Meteorological Centre ( RMC) Kolkata have said te Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Yaas’ will reach the north Odisha and West Bengal coasts by Wednesday early morning.

 

Ms. Banerjee said, “We have about 4,000 cyclone shelters where people who are being evacuated will be given shelter to minimise the loss of lives. Twenty of the 23 districts will be affected by ‘Yaas’. What we have come to know is, this cyclone will be more severe than ‘Amphan’. We will be happy if the impact is less.”

Masks would be made mandatory at the cyclone shelters. All kinds of activities, including fishing and tourism, would be strictly prohibited in the coastal areas. “We have kept stock of relief materials at blocks. Control rooms are working round the clock in districts, blocks and even in municipalities,” she stated.

Landfall

G.K. Das, Deputy Director and head of RMC Kolkata said, “The cyclone will cross on May 26 noon as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm. It is likely to make a landfall between the Paradip Coast in Odisha and Sagar Island in West Bengal, close to Balasore in Odisha”.

Mr. Das predicted that at the time of landfall, wind speed in the districts of north Odisha and Purba Medinpur in West Bengal would be about 155 to 165 kmph gusting 185 kmph.

 

The wind speed over the coastal areas in North and South 24 Parganas would be 90 km to 100 km, gusting 120 km at the time of the landfall. Similarly in Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly, the wind speed would be about 70 to 80 km gusting 90 km. Along with heavy rain, the IMD has issued a storm surge warning .

“Tidal waves of height 2-4 meters above astronomical tide are likely to inundate the low-lying coastal areas of South 24 Parganas, East Medinipur districts around the time of landfall,” an IMD press statement said.

Mr. Das said that unlike ‘Aila’ (May 2009) and ‘Amphan’ (May 2020), ‘Yaas’ would not make a landfall in West Bengal. Therefore, the impact of the cyclone could be relatively less.

Damage control steps

Last-minute preparations for minimising the cyclone damage was witnessed in the coastal areas of South 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur districts. Besides announcements, urging the people in the low-lying areas to take shelter in the flood centres once the cyclone makes the landfall, the authorities have fortified embankments in certain areas and are trying to ensure that there is no disruption of power supply.

The Chief Minister said power back-up have been provided at hospitals . About 51 teams of the State disaster response force have been posted at several strategic places in the State.

The coastal areas of the State, including Kolkata, witnessed rainfall, accompanied by gusty winds, since Sunday evening. The IMD has predicted heavy rainfall in the coastal areas of the State on May 25.

The Indian Coast Guard has deployed 16 ships and 3 aircraft a day on an average across the deep waters of the Bay of Bengal and along the coast. As a part of preventive measures, it has ensured the safe return of 254 boats that were out at sea and alerted various merchant vessels in transit and 77 vessels at anchorage till today.

Over a dozen of teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in the coastal areas of the State. Its officials held a meeting with senior officers of the Kolkata police during the day.


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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 11:42:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cyclone-yaas-to-make-landfall-on-wednesday-morning/article34632390.ece

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