On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet with senior government officials and representatives from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), as well as secretaries from the telecom, power, civil aviation, and earth sciences ministries. Amit Shah, the Home Minister, and other ministers will also be present at the meeting.
Cyclone Yaas is expected to make landfall on May 26 between north Odisha and the Sundarbans (in West Bengal) for which the states along India’s eastern coast are bracing up. This comes just days after Cyclone Tauktae, the biggest in the Arabian Sea in over two decades, wreaked havoc on the western coast and killed hundreds of people at a barge off Mumbai.
The state government has rushed a 22-member squad of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) into service in the aftermath of Cyclone Yaas. It has been urged to store necessary supplies and move people to nearby wind shelters.
Here are the latest updates on Cyclone Yaas as it approaches landfall:
According to Mohapatra, cutting-edge equipment has arrived in Paradip’s coastal zone to safeguard trees and clear blockages. He also stated that the district is preparing storm shelters.
The spring tide, which coincides with the full moon, is another source of concern for officials. The 26th of May also falls on this date. “During the spring tide, the water level in the sea and estuaries remains higher than normal and the tides are much higher. If the timing coincides with Cyclone Yaas, the storm surge would be much higher and devastating,” said Tuhin Ghosh, director of the School of Oceanographic Studies at Jadavpur University.
On Saturday, the Indian Army said that it had set up columns and engineer task units for rescue and relief operations. In Odisha, the army has deployed two columns and two engineer task forces, while in West Bengal, the army has deployed eight columns and one engineer task force. Four warships and a number of aircraft have been put on standby by the navy as well.
Over a dozen trains between the national capital and Bhubaneshwar and Puri, Odisha, have been cancelled by Northern Railway. On Saturday, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), led by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, met to discuss the cyclonic storm’s readiness. The country’s top bureaucrat urged several authorities to secure the safety of Covid-19 patients, hospitals, and other facilities.
Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, convened a high-level meeting at the state secretariat on Saturday, instructing officials to evacuate residents from coastal and riverine districts as soon as possible. The Bengal government has established a control room to monitor the situation, which will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The chief minister stated that she will remain in a command centre.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of Odisha has instructed officials to exercise caution and ensure that infection is not spread owing to overcrowding at cyclone shelters. He also instructed the chief secretary to keep a close eye on storm preparedness and advise the district administration accordingly.
According to the India Meteorological Department, Cyclone Yaas will likely grow into a “very severe cyclonic storm” and cross the shores of Odisha and West Bengal on May 26. (IMD). It is unlikely to approach the ferocity of Amphan, which battered India’s eastern coast last year, according to GK Das, director of the IMD’s regional office in Kolkata.
From the forenoon of May 26 to the evening of May 26 along and off the shores of West Bengal, north Odisha, and Bangladesh, wind speeds are expected to reach 90 to 100 km/h with gusts up to 110 km/h, according to the forecast.