Cyclone Yaas weakens into severe cyclonic storm, says IMD
Photo Credit: AFP

The very severe cyclonic storm Yaas has weakened into severe cyclonic storm, IMD said on Wednesday afternoon. The storm was centered at 12.30 pm over the north coastal Odisha, about 15 km West-Southwest of Balasore.

"The very severe cyclonic storm ‘Yaas’ (pronounced as ‘Yass’) weakened into severe cyclonic storm and lay centred at 1230 hrs IST of the 26th May, 2021 over north coastal Odisha near latitude 21.45°N and longitude 86.8°e, about 15 km west-southwest of Balasore," the IMD's hourly bulletin said.

Cyclone Yaas pounded the beach towns in north Odisha and neighbouring West Bengal as it hit the coast around 9 am on Wednesday with a wind speed of 130-140 kmph, inundating the low-lying areas amid a storm surge.

The very severe cyclonic storm caused heavy to extremely heavy rain in Odisha over the past 24 hours.

The location of the landfall was north of Dhamra in Odisha's Bhadrak district and 50 km south of Balasore, close to Bahanaga block, on the coast.

In view of the storm, the coastal states of West Bengal and Odisha carried out a mass evacuation drive and shifted people to safe shelters by late evening.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said most parts of the state were affected by the cyclone and the rain it brought along.

She urged the people of the state, particularly those in Purba Medinipur, South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, Paschim Medinipur, Howrah, Hooghly, Purulia and Naida, to stay indoors.

"Almost the whole of West Bengal has been flooded.

Several embankments have been damaged and seawater entered areas like Sagar and Gosaba in South 24 Parganas, as well as coastal areas like Digha, Shankarpur and Mandarmani in East Midnapore. Low lying areas have been extensively damaged," the chief minister said.

Banerjee, who monitored the situation from the secretariat the entire night, said that the spring tide has added to the woes. Efforts are being made to evacuate more people from the coastal areas of Digha, she said.

Digha in East Midnapore sharees border with Odisha's Balasore district. Banerjee said that 70 km of embankments have been damaged in East Midnapore, while in South 24 Parganas, 15 embankments had met a similar fate.

Reports of damage caused due to flooding by river water were received from areas like Joynagar, Basanti, Kultuli, Namkhana in the South 24 Parganas district, she added. The Chief Minister said that though there has been no report of any disruption in Kolkata, all flyovers have been shut as a precautionary measure.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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