West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said 11 lakh people had been evacuated from coastal and riverine areas in the state to prevent deaths and injuries during cyclone Yaas, which is expected to make landfall in Odisha on Wednesday afternoon. The evacuees have been housed in 4,000 cyclone shelters, schools and colleges.
Banerjee said she would stay the night in the state secretariat, Nabanna, to monitor the situation on the ground. As a precaution, Kolkata airport will remain closed from 8.30 am to 7.45 pm.
“We are here to monitor every possibility and situation. Tomorrow, by noon, the landfall may happen. The Metereological Department said landfall would occur near Balasore [in Odisha] but there is a chance the landfall will shift to Sagar Island [in West Bengal]. So, we are ready and alert to face any situation. After landfall, the cyclone may be there for three to four hours. So, never be complacent. We should be alert and I appeal to all people to stay home. Do not take any unnecessary risk,” she said.
The state government has set up a round-the-clock control room in the secretariat annexe to monitor the situation. At the control room, Banerjee was accompanied by senior officials such as Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Home Secretary Hari Krishna Dwivedi, and Disaster Management Secretary Dushyant Nariala.
TheCM said 2.72 lakh police and administrative personnel had been deployed, and the Army would be called if required. “The state government is ready in coordination with all concerned agencies. Rescue workers will be deployed as and when required.”
Yaas intensifies into ‘very severe cyclone’, to reach near Dhamra port today
PUNE: Severe Cyclone Yaas on Tuesday evening intensified into the ‘very severe cyclone’ category.
In the special cyclone bulletin issued by the India Meteorological Department late on Tuesday evening, cyclone Yaas was located at 160 km east-southeast of Paradip, 250 km south-southeast of Balasore, 240 km south-southeast of Digha and 230 km south of Sagar Islands.
The cyclone will move north-northwestwards, intensify further and reach close to Dhamra port in Odisha early Wednesday.
It is very likely to cross north between Paradip and Sagar islands, close to north of Dhamra and south of Balasore, some time in the afternoon hours of Wednesday as a very severe cyclonic storm.