Cyclone Yaas National

Odisha, Bengal grapple with evacuation ahead of cyclone Yaas

Staying secure: Fishermen moving their boats to safe places near the Chandrabhaga beach in Odisha on Monday.   | Photo Credit: BISWARANJAN ROUT

As the storm system Yaas heads towards the north Odisha-West Bengal coast, several thousand people are set to be evacuated from the coastal districts of both States. Officials of the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) in Kolkata said on Monday that the very severe cyclonic storm will make landfall by Wednesday.

G.K. Das, Deputy Director and head of the RMC, said, “The cyclone will cross on May 26 noon as a very severe cyclonic storm. It is likely to make 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 at 185 kmph.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the State was in the process of evacuating about 10 lakh people to cyclone shelters. “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.”

Also read: Cyclone Yaas | Odisha relaxes lockdown norms as deep depression intensifies

“We have kept stock of relief materials at blocks. Control rooms are working round the clock in districts, blocks and even in municipalities,” Ms. Banerjee stated. The Chief Minister said power back-up had been provided at hospitals. About 51 teams of the State Disaster Response Force had been posted at several strategic places in the State.

Wind speeds over coastal areas in North and South 24 Parganas during landfall are likely to be 90 km-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.

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.

The Odisha government said it had mobilised disaster response forces and evacuated people from low-lying areas ahead of the cyclone. However, the government is facing twin challenge of shifting large number of people to safer places and following COVID-19 guideline. Additional cyclone shelters have been identified for COVID-19 patients.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 11:59:52 PM |

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