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Cyclone Yaas is the second to hit India this month – after Cyclone Tauktae hit Gujarat last week

Highlights

  • Odisha’s Bhadrak, Balasore districts are likely to be most badly affected
  • Visuals from Bengal showed people wading through knee-deep water
  • Around 5.8 lakh people shifted from low-lying regions in Odisha

New Delhi: Cyclone Yaas crossed the north Odisha coast about 20 km south of Balasore between 10.30 and 11 am, with 130-140 km per hour winds and 150 km per hour gusts. At 11.30 am it was over north coastal Odisha, about 15 km southwest of Balasore.

Here are the top 10 points in this big story:

  1. ‘Very severe cyclone storm’ Yaas, which began landfall at 9 am, is likely to move north-northwest and weaken into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ over the next three hours, before weakening further into a ‘cyclonic storm’ in the following six. 185 km per hour winds were predicted but revised to 130-140 km per hour after Yaas failed to intensify past 2 am.

  2. Yaas is likely to move over Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district later today, with 100-110 km per hour winds, before weakening and leaving for Jharkhand by midnight. Visuals from Ranchi show increased wind speeds and overcast skies. The state is on high alert and officials have begun evacuations from vulnerable areas like East and West Singhbhum.

  3. In Bengal around 20,000 mud houses and temporary shelters were either destroyed or damaged, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was quoted by news agency Reuters this afternoon. Bengal minister Bankim Hazra said: “I have not seen anything like this before” after sea waters inundated low-lying areas in Digha, where a police station was flooded.

  4. There has been no major damage in Odisha so far, although there are reports of trees having uprooted in Bhadrak district and flooding from some other areas, as well as some people being stuck due to rising floodwaters, Mr Jena said. The government has warned people that the landfall process is not over and urged them to stay indoors.

  5. Around 5.8 lakh people have been shifted from low-lying regions in Odisha and around 11.5 lakh from places along the Bengal coast. Chief ministers of both states held review meetings Tuesday, with particular focus on arrangements – including supply of oxygen and electricity – for Covid hospitals in vulnerable regions. Ms Banerjee is to spend tonight at her office – ‘Nabanna’ – to monitor Yaas’ impact and subsequent relief efforts.

  6. Yaas, like Tauktae, strikes as India battles a devastating second wave of Covid infections. Officials fear the storm will complicate efforts to halt the surge in cases. Masks are being distributed at emergency shelters but maintaining social distancing will be a challenge. Vaccination drives in affected areas have also been suspended.

  7. Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport is closed till 7.45 pm. Bhubaneswar’s Biju Patnaik International Airport is closed till 5 am Thursday. Veer Surendra Sai Airport in Odisha’s Jharsuguda is shut till 7.45 pm Thursday. Durgapur and Rourkela airports will stay closed today.

  8. Indian Railways has announced the cancellation of at least 38 long-distance passenger trains headed to both Kolkata and southern states. These services will remain cancelled till Saturday, a Northeast Frontier Railways statement quoted by news agency ANI said. Passengers scheduled to travel on these trains will have ticket charges refunded.

  9. Naval base INS Chilka is co-ordinating relief efforts with operations supported by Eastern Naval Command Headquarters in Visakhapatnam. The Army has deployed 17 columns in Bengal – nine in Kolkata and the rest in Purulia, Birbhum, Bardhaman, Howrah, Hooghly, Nadia and North 24 Parganas districts. Three columns and an engineering force have been sent to Odisha.

  10. A record 115 National Disaster Response Force teams have been deployed. Visuals tweeted by agency chief SN Pradhan this morning showed the NDRF already hard at work clearing roads of fallen trees and evacuating people from coastal villages and towns.

With input from ANI, PTI, Reuters

syndicated from NDTV

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