The cyclone Yaas is likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm and cross the Odisha and the West Bengal coasts on May 26, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Saturday. A low pressure area formed over the east-central Bay of Bengal and the adjoining north Andaman Sea on Saturday.
It would continue to move north-northwestwards, intensify further and reach north Bay of Bengal near West Bengal and the adjoining north Odisha and Bangladesh coasts by the morning of May 26, it said. It is very likely to cross West Bengal and the adjoining north Odisha and Bangladesh coasts around the evening of 26th May, the IMD added.
Eight flood relief teams and four diving teams have been prepositioned in Odisha and West Bengal to augment the existing resources. Four naval ships are on standby with Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) bricks, diving, and medical teams to render assistance, ANI reported on Friday afternoon.
The cyclonic storm Yaas, which is likely to form in the Bay of Bengal, the head of Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) in Kolkata Dr Sanjib Bandyopadhyay advised the fishermen of West Bengal not to venture into the sea from May 23 evening, and advised those who are in the deep sea to return to the coast by May 23 morning.
The Odisha government has issued high alert in all coastal and adjoining districts in the state in view of the cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal. Odisha’s Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, after a meeting with senior officials on Friday, said that the state administration is geared up to meet the eventuality if cyclone ‘Yaas’ has any impact on the state.
Mohapatra held a meeting with all line departments, NDRF, Coast Guard, INS Chilika, DG Police, and DG fire services on Friday, news agency ANI reported.
Apart from putting the state’s districts on high alert in the wake of the IMD’s forecast of a possible cyclone crossing Odisha-West Bengal coast by May 26 morning, the state government urged the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard to be prepared for the emerging situation. Odisha’s Chief Secretary S C Mohapatra, after a meeting with senior officials, said that the state administration is geared up to meet the eventuality if cyclone ‘Yaas’ has any impact on the state.
Special relief Commissioner Pradeep K Jena said two airplanes and ships of the Indian Coast Guard are patrolling in the sea to help fishing boats and guide ships to come to the shore before the cyclone hits the state.
Suresh Mohapatra said the Odisha administration is fully prepared to cope with the cyclone. “As things will be more clear about the path of the cyclone in next two-three days, then we will decide that where we have to be more focused," he said.
Mohapatra said all concerned departments such as the electricity companies, health departments, rural and urban water supply departments Odisha Disaster Response Force, and NDRF teams have been put on alert to be in readiness with the manpower, material.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena, who held a series of meetings on the matter, spoke to collectors of 14 districts, different line departments, power distribution companies, telecom providers, authorities of NDRF, ODRAF, Odisha police, state Fire Service and apprised them about their role during the crisis.
“The DIG of Indian Coast Guard has informed us that two of their flights and two ships are making rounds of the Bay of Bengal. They will rescue the fishermen if trapped anywhere in the sea," Jena said. So far 39 fishermen are in the deep sea and they are expected to return to the shore by Saturday morning, Rana said.
He said the authorities of Indian Naval Ship Chilika and Indian Navy have been alerted and are in toch with the state government to meet the challenges posed by the possible calamirty. Stating that the 5 teams of NDRF have so far returned to Odidsha from Gujarat, Jena said as many as 17 NDRF teams, 20 battalions of ODRAF andd 100 teams of Fire Service are in readiness for the relief and rescue operation.
The forest department has been put on alert to ensure clearing of roads likely to be blocked by the trees falling due to the possible cyclone. The power distribution companies and telecom providers are told to remain prepared to start restoration work as soon as the calamity is over.
Adequate number of generators have been kept in ready condition to ensure uninterrupted drinking water supply. Jena said that the district collectors have already identified suitable pucca buildings to keep people in safe shelter.
Last week, extremely severe cyclone Tauktae hit the Gujarat coast and left a trail of destruction all over the western coast. As it weakened further, its impact was felt across the north Indian plains and even in the hill states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The April-May and the October-December periods are also known to witness cyclones.
Last May saw the formation of two cyclones one in the Bay of Bengal (super cyclonic storm Amphan) and the other in the Arabian Sea (severe cyclonic storm Nisarga) that hit the Indian coasts.