Cyclone Yaas makes landfall: Measures to stay safe
Cyclone Yaas crossed the southern coast of Balasore in Odisha around 10.30am on Wednesday as 1.4 million people were evacuated and moved to storm shelters from low-lying areas of West Bengal and Odisha. Thousands of people from neighbouring Jharkhand’s East Singhbhum and West Singhbhum districts were also moved to safer places as the cyclone made landfall on Wednesday morning.
India's west coast, which geared up for the cyclone's landfall days after it was battered by Cyclone Tauktae, is going to see more such intense cyclonic disturbances going forward due to the climate crisis, according to experts.
All focus of the authorities is on minimising the loss of property and life during the cyclone. “Zero casualty is the motto. We are leaving no stone unturned for saving lives,” Odisha’s special relief commissioner Pradip Jena said.
Here are some measures you can take at home in order to stay safe during cyclonic storms:
Steer clear of flooded roads: Avoid driving in flooded areas as vehicles can be swept away or may stall in moving water. If you have come in contact with floodwater, wash your hands with soap and clean water.
Electronic devices: Keep your phones, power banks etc fully charged but do not use a wet electrical device. Turn off the power from the main switch in your house if devices are still plugged in.
Keep a stock of essentials: Make sure you have essential supplies like food grains and medicines stocked for a few days. If you use an electric water purifier, make sure you have drinking water stored to keep you doing for some days. Keep candles and matchsticks and other light sources near you and if the power is out, preferably use flashlights. If you are using candles, stay near them and keep a fire extinguisher handy.
Be watchful if your building is old/damaged: Exit your home or building if you hear shifting or unusual noises as this could mean the building is about to fall. Also, be careful around fallen power lines. Call the power company concerned to report damaged power lines as they could pose a serious threat of electrocution.
Clean up your home properly: Wear waterproof boots, hats, goggles and masks when you clean your home after a cyclone or a hurricane. Disinfect everything and keep a fire extinguisher nearby.