Cyclone Yaas becomes 'severe', alert in Bihar and Jharkhand: 10 points

This satellite image provided by NASA shows Cyclone Yaas approaching India's eastern coast on Monday.(AP Photo)
This satellite image provided by NASA shows Cyclone Yaas approaching India's eastern coast on Monday.(AP Photo)

Cyclone Yaas becomes 'severe', alert in Bihar and Jharkhand: 10 points

Cyclone Yaas intensified into severe cyclonic storm on Monday night. It is expected to make landfall early on Wednesday. Disaster relief teams have already been deployed in West Bengal and Odisha, which will face the brunt.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAY 25, 2021 07:51 AM IST

The states on India's eastern coast are on alert ahead of the landfall of Cyclone Yaas, which has been brewing in the Bay of Bengal. It comes days after another powerful cyclonic storm Tauktae battered the country's western coast and killed at least 140 people.

Cyclone Yaas, which intensified into severe cyclonic storm on Monday night, is expected to make landfall between Paradip and Sagar islands (in West Bengal) close to Balasore in Odisha early on Wednesday morning and could pack sustained winds of up to 165 kilometers per hour, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The IMD has predicted a tidal surge of 2-4.5 metres during the landfall of Yaas, according to officials. The massive storm comes as India is battling a second wave of Covid-19, complicating efforts to deal with both.

Here are the latest on Cyclone Yaas:

  • The IMD has said that Yaas is likely to intensify into a 'very severe cyclonic storm' before it hits the coast. After crossing the coast on the afternoon of May 26, it will intensify further. The IMD had earlier said that Yaas would make landfall around Wednesday evening, but on Monday, it advanced the time.
  • Disaster relief teams have already been deployed in West Bengal and Odisha, which will face the brunt, and the coastal areas are being evacuated. The air force and navy said they have kept some of helicopters and vessels ready to carry out relief work.
  • In Odisha, the administration evacuated locals from their homes to shelter homes in Jagatsinghpur district. Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagastinghpur districts have been identified as high-risk zones along with Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar.
  • In West Bengal, the wind speed in Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly will reach 70 kmph to 80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph on May 26, according to weather department. Coastal areas of North and South 24 Parganas will experience 90 kmph to 100 kmph wind speed, gusting to 120 kmph. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee said that the state government is targeting to shift at least 10 lakh people to safer places. She added that Yaas' impact is going to be much more than Cyclone Amphan's.
  • Union home minister Amit Shah on Monday reviewed preparations, including evacuation of people in vulnerable coastal areas and safe return of all ships and vessels as well as safety of Covid-19 facilities such as oxygen plants situated in the region.
  • At a video conference held with the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal and the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, besides officials of concerned ministries, Shah said a 24x7 control room is functioning in the MHA, which can be contacted by them any time for assistance.
  • The storm will lead to intense rain activity in states as far away as Bihar. The Patna Meteorological Centre (PMC) said on Monday that Cyclone Yaas is likely to trigger heavy to extremely heavy rain in the parts of the state in the next two to three days. It has also issued an orange-colour warning for May 27 and 28.
  • Bihar's neighbour Jharkhand has been placed under red alert category by the weather department. The IMD has predicted extreme rainfall in southern and central parts of the state on Wednesday and Thursday. The teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deputed in East Singhbhum and Ranchi districts.
  • The cyclone will also impact Bangladesh. The authorities there have asked all fishing boats and trawlers over the north Bay of Bengal and the deep sea to move closer to the coast ahead of Yaas.
  • Scientists say cyclones in India are becoming more frequent and changing climate patterns have caused them to become more intense. Last May, nearly 100 people died in Cyclone Amphan, the most powerful storm to hit eastern India in more than a decade. It flattened villages, destroyed farms and left millions without power in eastern India and Bangladesh.

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