A massive evacuation process has begun in West Bengal and Odisha’s coastal regions in the wake of cyclone Yaas, which is expected to be as intense as Cyclone Tauktae which slammed into the west coast last week.
The cyclone is likely to intensify into severe cyclonic storm by Monday night and will bring winds of speed of up to 180 kms per hour when it makes landfall on West Bengal and Odisha coasts on Wednesday, the weather department said earlier today. It is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar Island around May 26 noon and make landfall near Balasore in north Odisha, news agency PTI quoted an Met department official as saying.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the state is targeting to shift at least 10 lakh people to safer places in a bid to avoid any loss of life. In Odisha, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena told reporters that the evacuation process has already begun and would be completed by Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with the Chief Ministers of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to review the preparations in view of cyclone Yaas.
Here are the Live Updates on Cyclone Yaas:
Odisha Assigns Senior Officials To Supervise Relief Work In High Risk Districts
The Odisha Government on Monday assigned senior officers to supervise relief, rehabilitation and restoration work in the high risk districts that are likely to be affected due to cyclone Yaas, according to news agency PTI. The officers concerned were requested to proceed to the respective districts immediately. Besides, the state police said more than 800 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) personnel are in a high state of readiness for the cyclone Yaas.
Odisha is fully prepared to tackle cyclone Yaas, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik informed the Centre on Monday. The very severe cyclonic storm is likely to make landfall near Balasore on May 26. While interacting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah who reviewed the cyclone situation, Mr Patnaik said the state is fully prepared and “our officers are in touch with officers of the union government. We’ll get back on requirements.”
The Odisha government has already evacuated about one thousand people from the low-lying areas and vulnerable storm-surge pockets in the four districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur, according to news agency PTI.
Five teams deployed in East Midnapore & 2 teams in Digha. Evacuation has started in Digha with people in temporary shelters being evacuated while those in permanent houses have been asked to take necessary precautions, ahead of Cyclone Yaas: NDRF Asst Commandant (2nd Battalion) pic.twitter.com/OO1xlHDoek
– ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2021
People in Odisha’s coastal districts of Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur are reluctant to move to the government shelters due to the fear of getting infected, news agency PTI quoted an official as saying. The massive shifting process is underway in view of the impending cyclone Yaas.
The official, who is monitoring the evacuation work in Jagatsinghpur’s Erasama block, said maintaining social distancing norms while carrying out evacuation has become an uphill task. “Still we’re trying to convince the people not to take chances and shift to cyclone shelters and pucca houses,” the report quoted him as saying.
Odisha Halts Covid Testing, Vaccination In Three Cyclone-Prone Districts
The Odisha government has decided to suspend all activities related to COVID-19, including testing, vaccination and door-to-door survey work, in three cyclone-prone districts in view of the impending Cyclone Yaas, according to news agency PTI. The three districts – Balasore, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj – fall in red zones having over 1,000 active coronavirus cases. A notification issued by the health department said the district collectors of Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur and Keonjhar will take a call on suspension of the COVID related activities in their jurisdiction.
BJP members from regions that are likely to be affected by Cyclone Yaas have been asked to start an evacuation campaign, reported news agency PTI. It said party president JP Nadda held a review meeting with party officials, MPs and MLAs of West Bengal, Odisha, Sikkim and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and asked them to set up coordination committees at state and district levels, and begin a campaign to undertake relief works.
Mr Nadda said these committees should get in touch with the NDRF, state disaster management teams and local administrations, and work out plans for rescue and relief operations. He said ration, tarpaulins, medicines and other items of need should be delivered to the affected people through the BJP’s “Seva Hi Sangathan” campaign, according to a statement.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Monday Cyclone Yaas’s impact is going to be much more than Cyclone Amphan, which had hit the eastern state last year. She said the cyclone might affect 20 districts of the state and her government is targeting to shift at least 10 lakh people to safer places in a bid to avoid any loss of life.
“Cyclone Yaas’s impact is going to be much more than Amphan, according to the information we have received so far. This is going to affect at least 20 districts in West Bengal. The districts of Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur will be severely affected,” she said, according to news agency PTI.
Makeshift shelter arrangements will be made in the under galleries of Eden Gardens for sports clubs that have their tents located in the Maidan area, which are prone to risk due to the impact of cyclone Yaas, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has decided, according to news agency ANI. Food and other amenities will be provided at the makeshift arrangement from Tuesday evening till Friday morning, it said. In a letter to its affiliated units and associations (which have their tent premises at Kolkata Maidan only), the CAB said clubs willing to safely evacuate their staff located at their Maidan Tent may contact the Hony. Joint Secretary.
YAAS over Eastcentral BoB, lay centred at 1730 hrs IST of 24th May about 450 km south-southeast of Paradip (Odisha) and 540 km south-southeast of Digha (WB), move north-northwestward, to cross between Paradip and Sagar Island around Balasore, during noon of 26th May as a VSCS. pic.twitter.com/wPYGm6Quqr
– India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) May 24, 2021
Amit Shah Reviews Cyclone Preparedness Of Assam, Sikkim, Meghalaya
Union Home Minister Amit Shah has enquired about the preparedness of Assam, Sikkim and Meghalaya to tackle cyclone Yaas, reported news agency PTI. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma informed him that emergency services have been pressed into action. He said in a tweet that the cyclone is likely to affect the region on 26-27 May. For Assam and Meghalaya, the India Meteorological Department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall on May 26-27.
Evacuation work has begun in West Bengal’s East Medinipur district in view of cyclone Yaas. According to news agency ANI, NDRF Inspector Rajkumar said so far 50 people have been shifted to cyclone centres.
In view of cyclone Yaas approaching the eastern coast, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday urged people residing in the coastal belts, especially the ones living in low-lying areas, to cooperate with the administration and shift to shelter homes, while adhering to all COVID-19 protocols, according to news agency PTI.
The cyclonic storm is very likely to cross Odisha-Bengal coast on Wednesday. The Met department has anticipated that it will make landfall somewhere in Balasore district.
In his video message, the chief minister said, “Cyclones are nothing new to us, but a slight negligence can trigger huge problems. Lives of all 4.5 crore people are precious to me as I consider them my family members. Please cooperate with the administration and shift to shelter homes.”
Maintaining that the state will have to deal with the twin challenges of cyclone and COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Patnaik said, “Officials will provide masks in the multi-purpose shelters. Please wear double masks. One mask is not sufficient to prevent the spread of infection.” He also requested people to wash hands frequently with soaps and sanitisers.
The Indian Coast Guard said Monday that all the 265 boats, which were reported to be in the Bay of Bengal by fisheries authorities, have returned to harbour in view of cyclone Yaas, according to news agency PTI. In a tweet, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) said, “Consistent efforts of the ICG ensured all 265 boats reported at sea by fisheries authorities safely returned harbour.” The ICG said its disaster response teams, ships and aircraft are on standby. The ICG is also maintaining close liaison with state administrations and other stakeholders to deal with any situation, it said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said the Centre, despite promising all forms of assistance to combat cyclone Yaas, has agreed to provide an advance of only Rs 400 crore, while smaller states such as Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are being given Rs 600 each. Her remark came following a meeting of Home Minister Amit Shah with chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Bengal, and the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Ms Banerjee said her state, which is more densely populated, was facing “repeated discrimination”.
“We had a meeting with Amit Shah-ji this morning. The Centre is providing more than Rs 600-crore each to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, and only Rs 400 crore-something to Bengal to fight Cyclone Yaas. This is money being paid in advance, something the states are supposed to get. This isn’t extra,” she said, according to news agency PTI. “At the meeting, I sought to know why Bengal, despite being a bigger state than Odisha and Andhra Pradesh — both in terms of population density and number of districts — is getting less? Why are we being deprived repeatedly?” Ms Banerjee said.
She said that Mr Shah, on hearing her argument, stated that “scientific views are taken into consideration” before arriving at such decisions.
The Met department said Monday that cyclone Yaas is very likely to make landfall near Balasore in north Odisha with a speed of 155 kmph to 165 kmph, gusting to 185 kmph, around noon on May 26, according to news agency PTI.
Sanjib Bandopadhyay, the deputy director at the Regional Met Centre in Kolkata, said the system, which lay centred about 620 km south-southeast of Balasore and 610 km south-southeast of Digha in West Bengal over east central Bay of Bengal on Monday morning, will move in a north-northwesterly direction.
It will intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by Monday night and further intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm by May 26 early morning, he told reporters. “It will cross into the land between Paradip in Odisha and Sagar island in West Bengal, close to Balasore,”
Mr Bandopadhyay said.
The system will have a sustained speed of 90 kmph to 100 kmph, gusting to 110 kmph, along and off Odisha coast on May 26 morning, he said.
Odisha Police said Monday that over 800 personnel of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) are in a high state of readiness for cyclone Yaas, according to news agency ANI.
The police said in a tweet that they are ready with tower lights, search lights, gensets, JCBs, hydra cranes, inflatable boats, high-end hydraulic tree cutters, gas cutters, plasma cutters, satellite phones and walkie talkie sets, to deal with the cyclone situation.
The police also informed that 12 formations of the ODRAF, apart from NDRF and Fire Services teams, were deployed for the pre and post-cyclone operations. Twelve platoons force has also been deployed for the same.
Assistant Director General (ADG) Law and Order, Y K Jethwa, visited Balasore and Bhadrak areas and reviewed the plans for evacuation and preparedness for post-cyclone rescue and recovery operations, according to the report.
#CycloneYaasUpdate | “There are 35 NDRF teams already deployed in West Bengal, some have been deployed in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Andaman and Nicobar. Some teams may have to be deployed in Jharkhand as cyclonic storm may impact some cities”: NDRF DG SN Pradhan (ANI)
– NDTV (@ndtv) May 24, 2021
#CycloneYaasUpdate | “The cyclone has developed into deep depression, it’s moving towards the Odisha coast on the conjunction of Odisha and West Bengal. It is likely to make landfall on May 26. 20 more NDRF teams will be deployed in Odisha”: NDRF DG SN Pradhan (ANI) pic.twitter.com/In5aYpA9Tv
– NDTV (@ndtv) May 24, 2021
Cyclone Yaas is now located around 520 km South-SouthEast of Paradip (in Odisha) and is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 12 hours, said HR Biswas, Director, IMD Bhubaneswar, according to news agency ANI. Over the subsequent 24 hours, it will intensify into very severe cyclonic storm, said Mr Biswas.
“It will move North-NorthWest and will reach NorthWest of Odisha and West Bengal coast. Further, it will cross the coast between Paradip and Sagar Island around Balasore on May 26 around noon as a very severe cyclone storm,” he said, according to the report.
Cyclone Yaas To Severely Affect 20 Bengal Districts: Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said 20 districts of the state will be severely affected due to cyclone Yaas, according to news agency ANI. She said 4,000 cyclone shelters are ready and 10 lakh people are to be evacuated. Fifty one disaster management teams, 1,000 electricity and 400 mobile network restoration teams have been formed, the chief minister added.
#CycloneYaas is likely to affect the region on 26-27 May. Union Home Minister Amit Shah called and enquired about the preparedness of Assam, Sikkim & Meghalaya. Informed that emergency services have been pressed into action: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma pic.twitter.com/kDjadKCLck
– ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2021
At 1130 IST, Cyclone ‘Yaas’ about 520 km south-southeast of Paradip. To intensify further and cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts betweenParadip and Sagar Islands around Balasore, during noon of 26th Mayas a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm. pic.twitter.com/Xb9cHYsfyE
– India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) May 24, 2021
Odisha | Arrangements made for a smooth evacuation following #COVID norms. Oxygen plants are given alternate power backups. Adequate buffer oxygen stocks are being made available to COVID hospitals in cyclone-prone area: Pradeep K Jena Special Relief Commissioner#CycloneYaaspic.twitter.com/xis7vDDvn2
– ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2021
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday held a meeting via video conferencing with the chief ministers of West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, and the Lieutenant Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, to review the situation that may arise due to cyclone Yaas, which is forming in the Bay of Bengal.
He reviewed and reiterated to the state/UT administrations to ensure adequate power backup in all COVID-19 hospitals, laboratories, vaccine cold chains and other medical facilities, according to the Home Ministry. He also advised them to ensure adequate stocks of essential medicines and supplies in hospitals, keeping in view likely disruption of vehicular movement.
The minister also advised them to make adequate arrangements to secure the health facilities, including temporary hospitals, which are likely to be affected by the cyclone, from losses and for evacuation of patients in advance, if necessary.
He also reviewed the likely impact of the cyclone on oxygen generation plans located in West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Mr Shah advised the states to plan in advance to ensure a buffer stock of oxygen for two days and the movement of oxygen to the allocated states so that supply is not impact in case of any disruption.
Besides advising them to ensure safety of oxygen generation plants, he also emphasised the need to make necessary arrangements for the safety of power plants to ensure uninterrupted power supply to hospitals and health facilities.
In view of the latest IMD advisory, eight teams of the 1st Battalion of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been airlifted from Guwahati to Odisha for rescue and search operations in view of the impending cyclone Yaas in Bay of Bengal.
“The state governments had requisitioned more than 50 teams of the NDRF in Odisha and 35 teams in West Bengal. The teams from NDRF battalions in Assam and Bihar are airlifted to Odisha and West Bengal in addition to those from the battalion stationed in the districts,” said HPS Kandari, Commandant, 01 NDRF.
These teams, comprising 200 personnel of 01 NDRF Guwahati, including engineers, paramedics, technical experts and others, were airlifted from Guwahati’s Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport to the Bhubaneswar airport in two transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force.
These teams are equipped with flood rescue boats and collapse search and rescue operation specialist equipment.
NDRF chief SN Pradhan has asked authorities in West Bengal and Odisha to adopt an over-preparing approach for the impending natural disaster and carry out evacuation even in the least vulnerable places.
“What we have learnt so far from our experiences over the years is that if the disaster prediction is X, then you must prepare for 2X because a natural phenomenon can turn worse in a matter of hours. So, if the forecast is for a very severe cyclone of 150 kmph, you should gear up for an extremely severe cyclone,” Mr Pradhan said.
“My advice to all the district magistrates would be to go for extra evacuation even in places identified as mildly vulnerable. Please remember, timely evacuation is a life saver. I believe the culture of over preparing has to come to India now,” the NDRF Director General said.
Cyclone Yaas news: 85 NDRF Teams Stationed Across 4 States, 1 Union Territory
Of 85 NDRF teams, 32 have been deployed in Bengal and 28 in Odisha. Some teams are also out in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The Eastern Railway has cancelled 25 trains between May 24 and May 29. The Railways issued a press release, informing about the decision and also shared lists of the trains it has canceled.
The low-pressure area which formed over the east-central Bay of Bengal on Saturday morning has intensified into a depression on Sunday and by Monday morning, it will form a cyclone namely Yaas, informed the India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General of Meteorology Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra. “It is very likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm.
Odisha Energy Minister Captain Dibya Shankar Mishra on Sunday directed department officials to maintain a steady power supply to hospitals and oxygen plants during and after the cyclone makes landfall, news agency ANI reported.
The minister chaired a high-level meeting of department officials to take stock of the preparedness ahead of cyclone “Yaas”, according to an official press release.
At 0830 IST,CS ‘Yaas’ centred near 16.4°N/89.6°E, 630 km south-southeast of Balasore (Odisha). Would intensify further into SCS during next 12 hours and into a VSCS during subsequent 24 hours, to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts b/w Paradip and Sagar islands around 26th noon pic.twitter.com/8MVn33G4fB
– India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) May 24, 2021
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has committed 99 teams across Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the view of Cyclone Yaas, NDRF Director General SN Pradhan said on Monday.
“#CycloneYaas Update24/5/21 @NDRFHQ commits 99 tms Across 5States/UT 52 tms(22+30 more)-Odisha 35 tms(25+10more)WBengal Rest across AP/TN/A&N,” Mr Pradhan tweeted.
As many as 18 teams NDRF teams have been deployed in Odisha alone. Seven teams have been deployed in Balasore, 4 in Bhadrak, 3 in Kendrapada, 2 in Jajpur, one each in Jagatsinghpur and Mayurbhanj. Four teams have also been kept as reserve, as per the NDRF.
Cyclone Yaas is likely to intensify into severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours and will bring winds of speed of up to 180 kms per hour when it makes landfall on West Bengal and Odisha coasts on Wednesday, the weather department said today. Read Here