West Bengal and Odisha are bracing for the effects of Cyclone Yass. According to the Indian Meteorological Department, the severe cyclonic storm will intensify into a 'very serious' storm over the next 12 hours. In the early hours of Tuesday, the storm lay centred at about 390 kilometres from Paradeep and 490 kilometres from Baleshwar in Odisha.
"The cyclonic storm Yass intensified into a severe Cyclonic Storm, lay centred at 1800 UTC of 24th May about 390km SSE of Paradip, likely to move north-northwestwards, to cross between Paradip and Sagar Island around Balasore, during noon of 26th May as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm," the IMD tweeted.
As per updates shared by the IMD, the storm is expected to move north-northwestwards, eventually reaching the northwestern part of the Bay of Bengal, near north Odisha and West Bengal coasts by early morning on 26th May. It is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar Island around Balasore, during noon on 26th May as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm.
The IMD has also issued an alert predicting rainfall for large swathes of West Bengal and Odisha as well as Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, Assam and Meghalaya. Sea conditions are likely to become Very High to Phenomenal over the next 24 hours. The IMD also predicted some damage to houses and public property, flooding and falling of trees for parts of of North Odisha and West Bengal.
As per the 5:00 am update shared by the IMD, gale winds speed reaching 95-105 kmph gusting to 115 kmph is prevailing over major parts of central Bay of Bengal. This would gradually increase to 100-110 gusting to 120 kmph from 25th morning. Squally wind speed reaching 50-60 kmph gusting 70 kmph is prevailing over North Bay of Bengal and along and off north Andhra Pradesh-Odisha–West Bengal–Bangladesh coasts. This would eventually intensify to 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph in some areas.
In Odisha's Jagatsinghpur, the district administration has now evacuated locals from their homes. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had earlier on Monday requested people who are in cyclone-prone areas to move to shelter homes. The Odisha Government has assigned the high-risk districts to Senior Officers to supervise relief, rehabilitation and restoration work. More than 800 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) personnel are in a high state of readiness for cyclone Yaas.
In neighbouring West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court on Monday informed that it has canceled the hearing of all matters listed for May 26 and 27 in light of the cyclone.
(With inputs from agencies)