Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said today that two people died after being electrocuted during a tornado at Chinsura in Hooghly district ahead of Cyclone Yaas, which is expected to make landfall on the Odisha coast tomorrow morning.
The tornado, which lasted for a minute and a half, destroyed 40 houses, said the Chief Minister at a press conference.
The people, assisted by local panchayat members, are being shifted to a school building.
"I have spoken to all the district magistrates on Cyclone Yaas. I will stay in Nabanna (the state secretariat) tonight. I will monitor the situation closely," said Ms Banerjee.
Detailing the preparatory efforts, Ms Banerjee said 54,000 officers and relief workers, 2 lakh police and Home Guard personnel, along with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, will be deployed to tackle the fallout of the storm.
The weather office has warned that the rapid winds can destroy houses, bend or uproot electric poles and disrupt railway services in coastal and adjoining interior districts of Bengal.
It is also expected to cause a storm surge of 2-4 metres along the coastline of Purba Medinipur and 1-2 metres in South 24 Parganas.
The impact of Cyclone Yaas, Ms Banerjee said yesterday, could be worse than Cyclone Amphan, which had left a trail of destruction in the state last year.