Cyclone Yaas to Turn ‘Very Severe’; WB, Odisha Brace for Impact
The storm is likely to make landfall near North Odisha’s Balasore district around noon on 26 May.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday, 25 May forecast that cyclonic storm Yaas over the east-central Bay of Bengal is going to intensify into a "very severe cyclonic storm" in the next 12 hours.
The storm is likely to make landfall near North Odisha’s Balasore district around noon of 26 May, the weather agency said.
"It would continue to move north-northwestwards, intensify further and reach the north-west Bay of Bengal near north Odisha and West Bengal coasts by May 26 early morning," IMD informed.
The wind speed around the system centre could go up to 55 to 65 knots and sea condition from rough to very rough, it stated.
As per a senior official, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has assigned its highest-ever number of teams for deployment in Odisha and West Bengal as part of the preparations for Cyclone Yaas, NDTV reported.
On Monday, the NDRF had committed to deploying 99 teams across the states of Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, in view of the cyclone, the force’s Director General SN Pradhan told news agency ANI.
As per IMD Director-General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, wind speed in Odisha’s Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts will reach around 80 kmph around midnight.
PTI quoted the DG as saying, “Big trees and electric poles may get uprooted. Chandbali is likely to witness the maximum damage due to the cyclone.”
The Odisha administration has issued a Red Alert – a warning for extremely heavy rainfall – in Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur and Balasore for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Orange Alert has been issued for Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Cuttack, Khorda and Puri as heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected in the regions on Tuesday, IMD Bhubaneswar reported.
Ahead of landfall, Marine Police Force and Balasore’s district administration undertook evacuations in Chandipur on Tuesday, ANI reported.
The Collector at Balasore had earlier said, “We're focusing on the evacuation of people from low-lying areas. As many as 1,200 centres will be used as shelters and have been sanitised due to the COVID-19 situation. We have health teams deployed at these centres,” ANI reported.
Adding that power restoration and road clearance teams have also been deployed in areas likely to be affected. “We are expecting wind speeds of 150-180 kmph over Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore tomorrow as landfall is expected by noon,” the department said.
The agency also stated that it had issued the highest danger warning for Dhamra and Paradip ports.
In view of the expected landfall, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also directed the state's home minister to reach Balasore and be stationed there to monitor the situation, ANI reported.
People living in low-lying and vulnerable areas have started moving to the multipurpose cyclone shelters in Digha and East Midnapore.
Assistant Commandant of 2nd Battalion, NDRF, Digha, said, “Our teams are continuously engaged in the evacuation of people from vulnerable areas. Medical teams will also be visiting the cyclone shelters,” ANI reported.
On Monday, NDRF had reportedly deployed 35 teams – two in north Bengal and 33 in south Bengal as a cautionary measure. 10 more disaster squads were sent to the state on Tuesday.
Director-General of NDRF SN Pradhan later said, “A total of 45 teams had been deployed.”
Stella S, the state’s IMD director, on Tuesday informed that parts of north AP, comprising Vizag, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts, may receive moderate rainfall, while some areas in Srikakulam district may receive heavy rainfall.
However, the cyclone is likely to have a mild impact on the state.
On Monday, following the video conference with Home Minister Shah, CM Jagan Reddy held a review meeting with officials, deliberating over the necessary measures to face the storm, and most importantly, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other health emergencies.
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