The cyclone Yaas landfall has begun near Dhamra port in Odisha at 9.15 am on Wednesday, even as strong winds and heavy tides saw seawater ingress in many coastal towns and villages in Odisha and West Bengal ahead of the landfall. As states prepare themselves with the necessary rescue operations, videos of a tornado hitting various towns in West Bengal’s North 24 Paraganas and Hooghly are going viral on social media.
The hair-raising visuals show an extremely fast-moving tornado that sent huge water spouts twirling high up into the sky with a gush of strong winds. The visuals were captured by residents across Chinchura, Bandel, Hooghly and Halisahar.
Social media flooded with the visuals of the rare occurrence as the Indian Meteorological Department has sent a high alert to various locations in view of the ‘Very Severe Cyclonic Storm’.
— Rupin Sharma IPS (@rupin1992) May 26, 2021
Meanwhile, a #Tornado suddenly struck #WestBengal when #Bengal was already dealing with #YaasCyclone. And with the #LunarEclipse approaching, there's no sign of reducing the waves.#Yaas #CycloneYaas #CycloneAlert #CycloneYaasUPDATE pic.twitter.com/bFGt70ST5D— Dipayan Sain (@DipayanSpeaking) May 26, 2021
Speaking to reporters, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the tornado has damaged around 40 houses in Halisahar with four to five people sustaining injuries. Around 40 more houses were reportedly damaged in Chuchura, while two people have died due to lightning in Pandua.
In view of #CycloneYaas, 11.5 lakh people have been evacuated; 40 houses damaged in Halisahar with 4-5 people injured; 40 houses damaged in Chuchura, while two people have died due to lightning in Pandua: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at a presser in Nabanna pic.twitter.com/X56S4ieh5F— ANI (@ANI) May 25, 2021
The maximum impact will be in Balasore and Bhadrak district, Odisha’s Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said.
He said the location of the landfall is north of Dhamra and south of Bahanaga close to Bahanaga block on the coast. Jena said about 5.80 lakh people in vulnerable areas of Odisha have been shifted to safe shelters. West Bengal government had on Tuesday also reported that 9 lakh people have been evacuated to storm shelters.
Though IMD had earlier Tuesday forecast that the wind speed during landfall would be around 155 to 165 kmph to gusting 185 kmph, the Doppler RADAR data now indicates the wind speed to be 130-140 kmph gusting to 155 kmph. Jena said the landfall of Cyclone Yaas has been delayed for some hours with the systems velocity decreasing to 12 kmph from 15 to 16 kmph. He said the cyclone has not intensified further after 2 am.