8 lakh people affected due to Cyclone Yaas in Jharkhand, UN says ready to support rescue efforts: 10 points
Cyclone Yaas may have weakened into a deep depression, but it unleashed copious rain and wreaked havoc in Jharkhand. State government officials said on Thursday that eight lakh people have been affected by the cyclone and water level in several rivers, including Kharkhai and Subarnarekha, is above the danger mark.
One person has been killed due to lightning in Bokaro, the officials added. This is the first time that Jharkhand is pummelled by a cyclone.
Cyclone Yaas, packing winds of up to 140 kmph, made the landfall in Odisha's Balasore district on Wednesday. The storm lost its intensity as it drove inland over Jharkhand.
Here are the latest on Cyclone Yaas:
- Around 15,000 people have been evacuated and moved to safety in Jharkhand, officials said, adding that rescue operations are still underway in a few districts.
- The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the cyclone is hovering over south Jharkhand. "We have issued alerts for 'extremely heavy rainfall' in certain areas," said RK Jenamani, a senior scientist of IMD.
- East Singhbhum Deputy Commissioner Suraj Kumar said trees fell like ninepins in many areas, and gale-strength winds snapped cables, causing power disruption. As many as 500 teams are carrying out relief operations across Jharkhand.
- Cyclone Yaas whipped up tidal surges in West Bengal and Bangladesh even though they were not directly in its path.
- Odisha shifted 6.5 lakh people to safer places, and West Bengal 15 lakh people ahead of the cyclone's landfall. Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik ordered health screening of all the 6.5 lakh people taken to the cyclone shelters, including Covid-19 tests if required.
- West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said relief materials worth ₹10 crore have been sent to the affected areas.
- Authorities in Bangladesh reported flooding of villages due to heavy rains and tidal surges. Three people were dead, two by drowning and a third who was hit by a tree, an official at the Disaster Management Agency said.
- According to IMD, the storm is likely to move northwards and weaken gradually into a depression in the next six hours.
- A spokesperson for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said the world body and its agencies stand ready to support the response efforts if state authorities request it.
- Yaas is the second cyclonic storm to hit India within a week after 'Tauktae' tore into its western coast, causing death and destruction.