Central teams visit Yaas-hit Bengal, Odisha
Two separate central teams on Monday visited areas hit by Cyclone Yaas in the coastal states of Odisha and West Bengal to assess damage and submit reports to the Union government.
In Odisha, an interministerial team led by joint secretary, home affairs, Sunil Kumar Barnwal toured Bhadrak and Balasore for on-the-spot assessment of damages. Bhadrak district collector Gyana Das said the team saw saline inundation of agricultural lands and houses damaged in Dmara. At least 8,000 houses in Bhadrak suffered damage from the cyclone. The team held discussions with the local administration and the affected people during the assessment of damages, he added.
On May 26, Yaas hit the coast between Balasore and Bhadrak districts with a sustained wind speed of 130-140kmph, gusting up to 155kmph. The storm caused very heavy rainfall in Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts, affecting over six million people in 11,000 villages. Three deaths were reported, the lowest among cyclones that have hit the state since the 1999 super cyclone. The teams will visit Mayurbhanj and Kendrapara districts on Tuesday for further assessment. There has been large-scale destruction of trees by the cyclone at Similipal tiger reserve in Mayurbhanj district. The central teams before leaving for Delhi will hold a meeting with Odisha chief secretary SC Mohapatra.
Special relief commissioner PK Jena said the Odisha government has not sought any immediate funds from the Centre for Yaas relief. “We have sought assistance for a permanent solution for disaster risk reduction by having a disaster-resilient power sector and long-term coastal protection,” he said.
Another seven-member central team visited areas hit by Yaas in West Bengal and will be visiting several places in the next two days. The team arrived at Kolkata on Sunday. Cyclone Yaas severely affected the state.
“The central team visited South 24 Parganas on Monday and East Midnapore on Tuesday. On Wednesday the team would visit the adjoining areas of Kolkata. They would also hold a meeting with top officials of the state government to assess the damage before submitted a report to the Union home ministry,” said a senior official of the state government.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee has already handed over a preliminary report to PM Narendra Modi on the damage caused by the cyclone in the state-- estimated to the tune of ₹20,000 crore. Modi announced financial assistance worth ₹1,000 crore for relief activities, which will be released on the basis of the damage, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.