Cyclone Yaas is likely to intensify into severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours and will bring winds of speed of up to 180 kms per hour when it makes landfall on West Bengal and Odisha coasts on Wednesday, the weather department said today. Yaas - which is expected to be about as intense as Cyclone Tauktae which slammed into the west coast last week - will intensify into very severe cyclonic storm when it hits the land in the next 48 hours, it said.
The cyclonic storm is currently about 600 km of Port Blair, the IMD said in a update this morning.
Deep Depression over Eastcentral Bay of Bengal intensified into Cyclonic Storm ‘Yaas' and about 600 km of Port Blair. To intensify into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 24 hours and into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm during subsequent 24 hours. pic.twitter.com/HfREdsMtOL- India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) May 24, 2021
The governments of Bengal and Odisha are on high alert for the very severe cyclonic storm that will bring winds with a speed ranging 155-165 kmph and gusting to 185 kmph. Cyclone Yaas is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar islands around noon of 26th May as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm.
In both the states, the National Disaster Response Force or NDRF, the military and the Coast Guard have been pressed into service.
Of 85 NDRF teams, 32 have been deployed in Bengal and 28 in Odisha. Some teams are also out in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
NDRF chief SN Pradhan has asked authorities in the two states to adopt an over-preparing approach for the impending natural disaster and carry out evacuation even in the least vulnerable places.
"What we have learnt so far from our experiences over the years is that if the disaster prediction is X, then you must prepare for 2X because a natural phenomenon can turn worse in a matter of hours. So, if the forecast is for a very severe cyclone of 150 kmph, you should gear up for an extremely severe cyclone," Mr Pradhan said.
"My advice to all the district magistrates would be to go for extra evacuation even in places identified as mildly vulnerable. Please remember, timely evacuation is a life saver. I believe the culture of over preparing has to come to India now," the NDRF Director General said.
Home Minister Amit Shah will hold a meeting today with the chief ministers of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to review the preparations, officials said.
This the second review meeting to be held in view of the cyclone in two days.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a high-level meeting to review the preparedness of the state and central agencies on Sunday, asked officials to work in close coordination with the states to ensure safe evacuation of people from the high-risk areas and stressed the need to ensure that the time duration of outages of the power supply and communication network is minimum and these links are restored swiftly
He also asked the officials to ensure that no disruption is caused to the treatment of COVID-19 patients in hospitals and vaccination against the viral disease., a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said.
Yaas is expected to be about as intense as Cyclone Tauktae which slammed into the west coast last week but tamer than Cyclone Amphan which hit Bengal exactly one year ago and for about three devastating minutes sustained wind speeds of 240 kmph. At least 80 people lost their lives.
The windspeed of the 1999 super-cyclone, the most severe one ever in the Bay of Bengal, is reported to have hit Odisha with winds speeds of 260 to 300 kmph and claimed nearly 10,000 lives.
With inputs from agencies