West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced she will stay at the state secretariat tonight to monitor the rescue and relief operation linked to Cyclone Yaas, which is expected to make landfall on the Odisha coast tomorrow morning, with wind speeds of up to 185 kilometre/hour.
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, which may severely impact several districts of Bengal, Ms Banerjee said.
"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," she said.
Cyclone Yaas will make landfall near Odisha's Bhamra Port at around 5.30 am on Wednesday, the weather office told NDTV today.
The cyclone will intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm tomorrow morning, unleashing devastating winds with speeds of 155 km/hour to 165 km/hour, gusting to 185 km/hour, along and off Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore districts in Odisha and East Midnapore district in West Bengal, the weather office was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
In Bengal, North and South 24 Parganas districts may experience winds with speeds of 90 km/hour to 100 km/per hour, gusting to 120 km/hour. Several other cities, like Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly, may also witness devastating wind speeds. Moderate to high rainfall is also expected in several districts across the state.
Warning that low-lying areas may get flooded, she said the Army will be deployed wherever necessary.
Cyclone Yaas 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 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.
Ms Banerjee had yesterday said the impact of Cyclone Yaas could be worse than Cyclone Amphan, which had left a trail of destruction in the state last year.
"We have learnt our lessons from (Cyclone) Amphan," she remarked today.
With inputs from ANI, PTI