Cyclone Yaas may cause maximum damage in Odisha’s Chandbali: IMD
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Tuesday severe cyclonic storm Yaas may make landfall between Dhamra and Chandbali areas of Odisha's Bhadrak district early on Wednesday. Yaas is likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm by Tuesday evening and Chandbali is likely to witness the maximum damage, IMD’s director general Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said.
“It is expected to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm on May 26 and cross the coast somewhere near Chandbali in Bhadrak district with wind speed of 155-165 km per hour accompanied by gusts of 185 km per hour. The impact of Cyclone Yaas will be high six hours before and after the landfall. Big trees and electric poles may get uprooted. Chandbali is likely to witness maximum damage due to the cyclone,” Mohapatra added.
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The system is likely to cause heavy rain over large parts of West Bengal and Odisha on Tuesday and Wednesday. "Rain has already started and will continue. Wind speeds in Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts will reach around 80kmph by midnight," he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
IMD said in its latest bulletin issued at 9.10am on Tuesday that Yaas is likely to move north-northwestwards and intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during the next 12 hours. The system has been moving north-northwestwards at a speed of 10kmph during the past six hours. It lays centred around 320km south-southeast of Paradip (Odisha), 430km south-southeast of Balasore (Odisha) and 420km south- southeast of Digha (West Bengal) at 5.30am, it said.
Squally wind speeds reaching 50-60kmph gusting to 70kmph are prevailing over north Bay of Bengal and along and off Andhra Pradesh-Odisha-West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts, the weather bureau said. Wind speeds will increase to 155-165kmph gusting to 185kmph over northwest Bay of Bengal and along and off north Odisha and adjoining West Bengal coasts including Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore districts of Odisha during landfall, it added.
Wind speeds may increase to 100-120kmph gusting to 145kmph in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district and West Bengal's Purba Medinipur and South 24 Parganas districts. Wind speeds reaching 80-90kmph gusting to 110kmph will prevail over Odisha's Puri, Cuttack, Khurda and Jajpur districts and West Bengal's Jhargram, Paschim Medinipur and North 24 Parganas districts during the period. Yaas is also expected to cause a storm surge of 2-4 metres along the coastline of Purba Medinipur and 1-2 metres in South 24 Parganas.
Authorities began evacuating thousands of people to safety on Tuesday as a "severe" Cyclone Yaas neared, days after another cyclone battered the west coast of the country leaving a trail of death and destruction. Odisha’s special relief commissioner Pradip Jena said district collectors have been asked to finish evacuation from the four coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur by Tuesday afternoon. He added that arrangements have been made to accommodate up to 750,000 evacuaees in 7,000 shelters prepared for the purposed. “Zero casualty is the motto. We are leaving no stone unturned for saving lives,” Jena said.
Fishermen have been asked not to venture out into the sea till further information. It warned of destruction to thatched houses, extensive damage to kutcha dwellings and some damage to pucca buildings in coastal and adjoining interior districts of West Bengal. IMD also warned of bending or uprooting of electric poles and disruption of railway services due to snapping of power lines and signalling systems, prompting the South Eastern Railway to cancel several passenger special trains till Wednesday.
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The last time Odisha faced a cyclone was in May 2019 when Cyclone Fani ripped through Puri, Khurda and Cuttack districts, killing 64 people and affecting about 16.5 million people in more than 18,000 villages. It damaged an estimated 360,000 houses. Cyclone Titli killed 77 people in 2018, destroyed 260,000 hectare of agricultural land and over 60,000 houses and killed more than 35,000 domestic animals. In 2013, Cyclone Phailin wreaked havoc in the eastern state affecting over 1.1 million people and causing damages worth ₹4,240 crore.