Cyclone Yaas to hit Odisha, West Bengal coasts on Wednesday; rescue & relief teams on standby
Tidal waves 2-4 meters above normal are likely to inundate low-lying areas
With Cyclone Yaas expected to hit the coasts of Odisha and West Bengal as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm on Wednesday, rescue and relief agencies, including personnel of the armed forces, have been deployed in large numbers to tackle its aftermath.
Over 10 lakh people have been evacuated to safer areas in both the states, the National Disaster Response (NDRF) has said.
While 52 teams of NDRF have been deployed in Odisha, 45 teams are in position in West Bengal, helping the state administrations.
Cyclone Yaas is scheduled to reach Northwest Bay of Bengal near north Odisha and West Bengal coasts, very close to Chandbali-Dhamra port, by the early morning of Wednesday, May 26.
"It is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar Island close to north of Dhamra and south of Balasore, during noon of Wednesday, the 26th May as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm" the Ministry of Earth Sciences said on Tuesday.
Wind speeds are likely to range between 155- 165 kmph, gusting to 185 kmph.
The Indian Army's Eastern Command has been deployed for rescue and relief operations in West Bengal in preparations for Cyclone Yaas.
The deployment of Army columns is based on requisition and is in close coordination with the Government of West Bengal.
A total of 17 integrated Cyclone Relief Columns, comprising specialised personnel with associated equipment and inflatable boats, have been deployed. Columns have been prepositioned at Purulia, Jhargram, Birbhum, Bardhaman, West Midnapur, Howrah, Hoogly, Nadia, 24 Parganas North & South.
Nine Cyclone Relief columns have also been kept on standby at Kolkata, for redeployment as necessary in West Bengal, at short notice.
According to the defence ministry, these teams are equipped to undertake rescue and relief operations to include casualty evacuation of stranded and marooned persons, medical treatment, road clearing and tree cutting and distribution of relief material.
Ports along eastern coast take preventive measures
Tidal waves of height 2-4 meters above astronomical are likely to inundate low lying areas along the Odisha and West Bengal coasts.
The operational area of ports in areas likely to be affected by the cyclone have already been cleared of port users as well as workers.
Arrangements have been made for securing all shore cranes, various equipment and machineries, items at project sites, as well as locomotives & rakes.
An action plan has been initiated to suspend railway and road movements in the port areas.
Intructions issued for securing of private crafts and launches. Action has also been taken for the safety of harbour crafts, launches and tourist ferries which remained inside harbour. Safety of vessels in the outer harbor port areas is also being ensured.
Meanwhile, according to the Indian Railways, Oxygen Expresses moved 680 MT of Oxygen relief from Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand in the last 12 hours before the cyclone started becoming stronger. Eight Oxygen Expresses moved from the region, it added.