A low-pressure area in the Bay of Bengal has intensified into a depression that will cross the West Bengal and Odisha coasts on May 26 as a "very severe cyclonic storm", the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Sunday. The depression is expected to intensify into a cyclonic storm, "Yaas", by Monday, it added.
"It (the depression) is very likely to move north-northwestwards and intensify into a cyclonic storm by May 24 morning and further into a very severe cyclonic storm during the subsequent 24 hours. It would continue to move north-northwestwards, intensify further and reach Northwest Bay of Bengal near West Bengal and north Odisha coasts by May 26 morning," the Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD said. "It is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal between the Paradip and Sagar islands by evening of 26th May as a very severe cyclonic storm," it added.
Places likely to be worst hit:
Odisha's Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak and Balasore districts are likely to be worst affected by the cyclonic storm Yaas which will reach the state on May 26, Umashankar Das, Deputy Director of India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Bhubaneswar on Sunday said.
"We are expecting that the well-marked low-pressure area over the east-central Bay of Bengal will concentrate into a depression during next 12 hours and by tomorrow (May 24), it is going to be a cyclonic storm and will continue to move in the north north-westward direction and on May 26 it will reach Odisha, West Bengal, and Bangladesh coast," Umashankar Das said. "The North Odisha districts, particularly Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak, and Balasore are expected to most affected," Das said.
The Deputy Director of IMD Bhubaneswar informed that Bhadrak, Balasore, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Khordha, and Puri are expected to receive heavy to heavy rainfall on May 25. "On May 26, we are expecting extremely heavy rainfall at Mayurbhanj and Balasore," he added.
In view of Cyclone Yaas, as many as 18 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Odisha. Seven teams have been deployed in Balasore, 4 in Bhadrak, 3 in Kendrapada, 2 in Jajpur, one each in Jagatsinghpur and Mayurbhanj. Four teams have been kept as reserve, as per the NDRF.
According to the Odisha government, 66 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams and 177 fire services teams are being deployed in areas that are likely to be affected by the cyclone.
The Indian Air Force has airlifted 21 tonnes of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief equipment, along with 334 NDRF personnel on Sunday. To mitigate the effect of the cyclone, the IAF has airlifted 606 personnel and 57 tonnes load of NDRF so far since 21 May.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness of States and Central Ministries/Agencies concerned to deal with the situation arising out of cyclone. He directed officials to ensure timely evacuation of those in off-shore activities.
PM Modi directed senior officers to work in close coordination with states to ensure the safe evacuation of people from high-risk areas. He also instructed all concerned departments to ensure timely evacuation of those involved in off-shore activities, according to a release by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The Prime Minister spoke about the need to ensure that the time duration of outages of power supply and communication network are minimum and are restored swiftly. He also asked officials to ensure proper co-ordination and planning with state governments to ensure no disruptions in Covid treatment and vaccination in hospitals.
PM Modi asserted on the need to involve district administrations in the process of planning and preparedness for better learning from best practices and seamless co-ordination.
Moreover, the Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief, search and rescue operations. Air Force and Engineer task force units of Army, with boats and rescue equipment, are on standby for deployment. Seven ships with Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Units are on standby along the Eastern coast.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has taken measures to secure all oil installations in the sea and to bring back their shipping vessels to safe harbour. The Ministry of Power has activated emergency response systems and is keeping in readiness transformers, DG sets and equipment for immediate restoration of electricity.
The Ministry of Telecom is keeping all the telecom towers and exchanges under constant watch and is fully geared to restore the telecom network.
Sea condition: Sea conditions will be rough to very rough over Andaman Sea & adjoining eastcentral Bay of Bengal on 23rd & 24th May, High to very High / Phenomenal over major parts of central Bay of Bengal, north Bay of Bengal and along & off Odisha – West Bengal - Bangladesh coasts during 24th – 26th May.
Tidal wave: Tidal waves of 1- 2-meter height very likely to inundate low lying areas of Andaman & Nicobar Islands on 23rd & 24th May.
Fishermen Warning: The fishermen are advised not to venture into southeast & east central Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea and along and off Andaman & Nicobar Islands during 23rd – 24th May, into central Bay of Bengal from 23rd – 25th May and into north Bay of Bengal and along & off West Bengal – Odisha – Bangladesh coasts from 24th – 26th May. Those who are out in the Deep Sea of eastcentral & adjoining northeast Bay of Bengal are advised to return to the coast.
(With input from agencies)