The governments of West Bengal and Odisha have evacuated more than 11 lakh people ahead of the landfall of Cyclone Yaas, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday. Several trains have been cancelled and hundreds of National Disaster Relief Force personnel have been sent to the two states, PTI reported.
More than nine lakh people have been moved to safer locations in West Bengal, while over two lakh have been evacuated in Odisha.
Cyclone Yaas, which was situated 200 kilometres south east of Paradip in Odisha, is likely to move north-northwestward and intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next six hours, HR Biswas, the director of the India Meteorological Department, Bhubaneswar, told ANI on Tuesday evening.
The storm is likely to make landfall between Balasore and Dhamra in Odisha at noon on Wednesday. The weather department said that wind speed will hit 155-165 kilometres per hour, gusting to 185 km/ph during the landfall, PTI reported.
Andhra Pradesh is also on alert due to the cyclone. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy held a videoconference with officials in Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts to review the situation, according to PTI.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the state’s preparedness for the cyclone on Tuesday, ANI reported. Meanwhile, the NDRF said it has deployed 52 teams for relief and rescue operations in the state.
The Indian Railways moved 680 tonnes of oxygen from Odisha, West Bengal, and Jharkhand to other states ahead of the cyclone’s landfall, PTI reported. India’s major oxygen-generation plants, situated in these states, are supplying the life-saving gas to hospitals in other places amid the coronavirus crisis.
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation rescheduled Wednesday’s vaccination drive at all its centres to Saturday, May 29, ANI reported.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said that she will stay at the state secretariat overnight to oversee the rescue operations for the cyclone, NDTV reported.
The chief minister said at a press conference that the NDRF, police and home guard personnel have been deployed for the relief and rescue operations. Forty-five NDRF teams will be in the state.
The Kolkata airport will suspend flights from 8:30 am to 7:45 pm in view of the cyclone warning.
Two people were electrocuted during a tornado in the state’s Hooghly district, ahead of the landfall of Cyclone Yaas, NDTV reported. The tornado also destroyed 40 houses.