The India Meteorological Department on Tuesday said that Cyclone Yaas is likely to intensify into a “very severe cyclonic storm” in the next 12 hours. The weather department added that it is likely to make landfall between the Paradip Coast in Odisha and Sagar Island in West Bengal on Wednesday noon.

Yaas intensified into “severe cyclonic storm” on Monday night. The weather department in Bhubaneswar has issued red alert, warning of extremely heavy rainfall in the districts of Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur and Balasore, ANI reported. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected in Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Cuttack, Khorda and Puri on Tuesday, it added.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed the state’s home minister to reach Balasore and monitor the situation. “At a time when we are fighting with Covid-19, we have yet another challenge in the form of Cyclone Yaas,” the chief minister said. “The priority is to save every life, I request all those in cyclone prone areas to move to shelter homes and cooperate with administration.”

The IMD in its bulletin urged fishermen not to venture into Bay of Bengal. “Tidal waves of height 2 to 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,” it said.

Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that the state was in the process of shifting at least 10 lakh people to cyclone shelters, according to PTI. “Cyclone Yaas’s impact is going to be much more than Amphan, according to the information we have received so far,” she said at a press conference. “This is going to affect at least 20 districts in West Bengal. The districts of Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur will be severely affected.”

Banerjee also said that district administrations and the police have been asked to deal with violations strictly to prevent any loss of life. At least 51 disaster management teams have been posted at several strategic places, she added.

The states on India’s eastern coast are also on alert ahead of the landfall. The Patna Meteorological Centre in Bihar said that Cyclone Yaas is likely to lead to heavy to extremely heavy rain in the parts of the states on Wednesday and Thursday, reported the Hindustan Times.

The weather department has issued red alert for Jharkhand too. “The state’s southern and central parts are expected to be most affected,” it said.