The India Meteorological Department on Wednesday said that a new cyclonic storm was expected to start developing over the Bay of Bengal by Saturday. If the formation occurs, this would be the first storm over the Bay of Bengal this year.
Once it develops, the cyclone will be given the name Yaas, chosen by Oman, reported The Indian Express. “May 23 should mark depression stage, and the final cyclonic storm is expected to hit by May 24-25,” RK Jenamani, a senior scientist at the National Weather Forecasting Centre, told ANI.
In a statement, the IMD said that the expected cyclonic storm was very likely to move northwestwards and reach the coasts of West Bengal and Odisha coasts around May 26 evening.
Light to moderate rainfall was expected at most places in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places on Saturday and Sunday, the weather forecasting agency predicted. It also said that West Bengal, Odisha, Assam and Meghalaya were likely to get light to moderate rainfall in most areas and heavy to very heavy rain at isolated regions from May 25, following which the intensity could increase.
This came as Cyclone Tauktae wreaked havoc in multiple states, including Maharashtra and Gujarat, leading to around 57 deaths in the two states.
On Cyclone Tauktae’s impact, Jenamani said that it had now weakened into a depression.
“However, its remnants are still very active in northern India – Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, west of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand,” he added.
Meanwhile, IMD officials said that they cannot rule out the possibility that Yaas will intensify like Amphan, reported the Hindustan Times. “The only good thing is that models as of now are showing that the system is moving very fast over the sea,” Sunitha Devi, who tracks cyclones at IMD, told the Hindustan Times. “Its intensification will be restricted if its time over [the] sea is less.”
Amphan was a cyclonic storm that hit West Bengal in May last year and led to the deaths of at least 86 people. The cyclone, the strongest on record in the Bay of Bengal, knocked down huge trees, snapped power lines and upturned cars. The winds blew apart some buildings, while ropes of rain sent thousands of poor villagers rushing to evacuation shelters.
In view of Yaas, the Odisha and West Bengal governments have started making preparations. Odisha Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep K Jena directed district authorities to identify shelters, check facilities and infrastructure and deploy staff to prepare an evacuation plan.
In West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed government officials to make all the necessary arrangements, including arranging for adequate stock of medicines, drinking water, dry food and tarpaulins.
As sea conditions are likely to be rough to very rough, the weather department has advised fishermen not to venture into the Bay of Bengal from May 24.