'1 crore people affected by Cyclone Yaas, 3 lakh houses damaged': Mamata Banerjee
Cyclone Yaas, which began its landfall on Wednesday morning near Dhamra port in Odisha, has completed the process, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, whose state is also in storm's path, said that at least 1 crore people have been affected and three lakh houses damaged due to rough weather conditions arising out of the cyclone.
"Cyclone Yaas has complete the process of landfall. Rainfall will continue till tomorrow. Fishermen are advised not to venture till tomorrow morning because the sea condition going to be rough," said Umashankar Das, senior scientist, Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar.
IMD director general of meteorology, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, said earlier in the day that the cyclone is likely to reach Jharkhand on Thursday morning.
According to IMD estimates, Yaas will gradually weaken into a severe cyclonic storm in the next three hours, and into a cyclonic storm during the subsequent six hours.
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee held a review meeting with district magistrates, disaster management committee and other officials in West Bengal. Later, addressing the media, she said that Bengal happens to be the "most-affected state".
"I will soon be undertaking an aerial survey of the affected areas in Purba Medinipur, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas districts," Banerjee said.
"We will be conducting field surveys to get a final estimate... It will take us at least 72 hours to get a clearer idea," she added.
The chief minister further said that as many as 15,04,506 people have been evacuated from the vulnerable areas in the state and moved to safer places.
Cyclone Yaas was packing gusts of up to 140 kmph as it hit land, authorities said. It destroyed tens of thousands of mud houses in Odisha and West Bengal, and forced the closure of the busiest regional airport in Kolkata.