Rescue operations are underway in Odisha and West Bengal and teams are clearing a large number of uprooted electric poles and trees to keep roads open in these states which were hit by cyclone Yaas on Wednesday, a National Disaster Response Force official said. The cyclone completed its landfall around noon packing strong winds and heavy rainfall along the Odisha coast and neighbouring areas of West Bengal.
“It (Yaas) is very likely to move north-westwards across interior Odisha and weaken gradually,” a spokesperson for the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said. He said the force has evacuated thousands of people to safer places in close coordination with local administrations in both the states. “Rescue operations are still continuing as large number of trees and electric poles are uprooted after the cyclone-hit the land,” the spokesperson said. “The teams are removing them from roads to keep communication lines clear and this process is still on. Rescuers are making all out efforts to bring normalcy in the affected areas,” he said.
A total of 113 teams were deployed by the federal contingency force in the two states and adjoining areas for launching relief and rescue in the wake of the cyclone. “As the cyclone hit, rainfall in the region has led to inundation of low-lying areas. Many trapped persons were rescued by the NDRF including an infant with three family members after their house collapsed due to heavy rains in Odisha,” the spokesperson said.
He added that hundreds of stranded persons were also rescued in West Bengal. Three people were saved from drowning, the spokesperson said. The force urges people to restrict their movement till the situation becomes normal and take proper precautionary measures while returning to their homes, he said.