New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday (May 25, 2021) predicted that Cyclone Yaas is going to intensify into a ‘Very Severe Cyclonic Storm’ in the next few hours.
As per a weather bulletin released at 2 AM, the Cyclonic Storm Yaas over East-central Bay of Bengal moved north-northwestwards with a speed of about 10 kmph during the past 6 hours, intensified into a Severe Cyclonic Storm and lay centred at 2330 hrs of May 24 over East-central Bay of Bengal near latitude 17.6°N and longitude 89.0°E, about 390 km south-southeast of Paradip (Odisha), 490 km south-southeast of Balasore (Odisha), 470 km south-southeast of Digha (West Bengal) and 500 kms south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh).
“It is very likely to move north-northwestwards, intensify further into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 12 hours. It would continue to move north-northwestwards, intensify further and reach Northwest Bay of Bengal near north Odisha and West Bengal coasts by May 26 early morning,” the IMD said.
The weather department also stated that Cyclone Yaas is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar Island around Balasore, during noon of May 26 as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm.
The intensified into a Severe Cyclonic Storm, lay centred at 1800 UTC of 24th May about 390km SSE of Paradip, likely to move north-northwestwards, to cross between Paradip and Sagar Island around Balasore, during noon of 26th May as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm. pic.twitter.com/1MVR7TNxIz
— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) May 24, 2021
Sanjib Bandopadhyay, the deputy director at the Regional Met Centre in Kolkata, said that at the time of landfall near Balasore, wind speed will reach 155 kmph to 165 kmph, gusting to 185 kmph, along and off Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore districts in Odisha and in East Midnapore district of West Bengal.
The IMD stated that tidal waves of height 2-4 meters above astronomical tide are likely to inundate low lying low laying areas of Medinipur, Balasore, Bhadrak and about 2 meters above astronomical tide are likely to inundate low lying low laying areas of South 24 Parganas, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts around the time of landfall.
Earlier on Monday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah reviewed preparations with the Chief Ministers of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh and the Lt Governor of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. It came a day after a high-level review meeting by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Shah specifically reviewed and re-iterated to the states and UT administrations to make adequate power backup arrangements in all COVID-19 hospitals, labs, vaccine cold chains and other medical facilities.
He also advised them to ensure adequate stocks of all essential medicines and supplies in hospitals, keeping in view likely disruption of the movement of vehicles.
The Union Home Minister also reviewed the impact of Cyclone Yaas on oxygen generation plants located in West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and advised them to make advance planning for keeping a buffer stock of oxygen for two days.
Shah said that a 24×7 control room is functioning in the MHA, which can be contacted at any time for any assistance by the states and the Union Territory.
He also informed that the Indian Coast Guard, the Navy, the Army and Air Force units have also been put on standby and surveillance aircraft and helicopters are carrying out aerial sorties.
Meanwhile, the Naveen Patnaik-led Odisha government said that it has rushed a large contingent of rescue and relief teams to Balasore district bordering West Bengal on Monday. Officials said that a massive evacuation drive has been launched in all low-lying areas and vulnerable storm-surge pockets and that the process of evacuation would be completed by Tuesday afternoon.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that her government is targeting to shift at least 10 lakh people to safer places in a bid to avoid any loss of life.
She stated that at least 51 disaster management teams have been readied, keeping in view the possible devastations predicted by experts.
The TMC Supremo also highlighted that ferry services at 13 places have been shut and that the state has sufficient stock of relief materials that are kept ready at the block level.
She also stated that over 1,000 power restoration teams have been kept on stand-by and once the cyclone subsides, they will start working.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has also directed its rescue teams to ensure that the country’s major medical oxygen generation plants based in Odisha and West Bengal are running and alive during Cyclone Yaas.
NDRF director general (DG) SN Pradhan said the force has earmarked a total of 149 teams for undertaking evacuation and rescue operations, of which 99 will be deployed on the ground and the remaining 50 will be available at its various bases across the country for quick airlift if required.
In view of the impending #CycloneYaas, more than 100 teams of @NDRFHQ have been deployed across six states – #Odisha, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh & Andaman & Nicobar UT: NDRF DG @satyaprad1@dpradhanbjp @pcsarangi @SRC_Odisha @PradeepJenaIAS @osdmaodisha pic.twitter.com/hwDdjz2lrS
— PIB in Odisha (@PIBBhubaneswar) May 24, 2021
— DG NDRF (@satyaprad1) May 24, 2021
Pradhan added that all the states expected to face the fury of the ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ have been asked to not take any chance and evacuate each and every person from its likely path well in time.
(With agency inputs)