Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the arrangements regarding Cyclone Yaas and said that every life is precious thus all possible steps should be taken to protect lives. He held a meeting with Chief Secretary and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) through a virtual platform linking the state control room and cyclone dashboard.
Patnaik also sought the cooperation of people in evacuation and directed the administration to monitor the situation regularly.
Cyclone Yaas is likely to make landfall by noon on Wednesday with a wind speed of about 130 to 155 kmph, informed the India Meteorological Department (IMD), adding that it currently lay centered over northwest Bay of Bengal.
“We are expecting `very severe cyclonic storm` Cyclone Yaas to make landfall by noon today with a wind speed of 130-140 kmph gusting 155 kmph,” Umashankar Das, senior scientist at the IMD, Bhubaneswar told ANI.
He further quoted as saying, “(As of 6:45 am) The cyclone lay centered over northwest Bay of Bengal near latitude 20.8°N and longitude 87.3°E, about 40 km east of Dhamra (Odisha), 90 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal) and 90 km south-southeast of Balasore (Odisha).”
People in Odisha, West Bengal, and Jharkhand woke up to strong winds and heavy rain on Wednesday morning and braced for the cyclone. The IMD had earlier informed that the cyclone is very likely to reach near north Odisha coast close to Bhadrak`s Dhamra port by the early morning of May 26.
Chief Secretary SC Mohapatra on Tuesday briefed the CM Naveen Patnaik about steps taken by the administration regarding evacuation and SRC PK Jena made a presentation regarding the position of the cyclone. He said the latest data suggest that cyclone will make a landfall between Bahanaga and Basudevpur.
Jena also briefed on arrangements made for drinking water, special arrangements at Covid hospitals, oxygen buffer, power supply communication network, and other arrangements. “The evacuation is going on in full swing. Over 2.5 lakh have already been evacuated. All will be evacuated from vulnerable places by tonight,” he added.
Meanwhile, over 11.5 lakh people were evacuated from vulnerable places in West Bengal ahead of the cyclone, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee informed on Tuesday, adding that she will stay at the state secretariat `Nabanna` on May 25 and May 26 to monitor the cyclonic situation and relief work.
Meanwhile, two persons were electrocuted and at least 80 houses were damaged in Hooghly and North 24 Parganas districts due to strong winds and heavy rainfall on Tuesday at the onset of cyclone Yaas.
As many as 38 long-distance South-bound and Kolkata-bound passenger trains have been cancelled from May 24 to 29. The Indian Navy, too, has ramped up rescue and relief operations to minimise damages. As part of the preparation, two Navy Diving Teams and five flood relief teams comprising of specialized Navy personnel with associated equipment and inflatable boats, have been deployed.
(With Agency Inputs)
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