New Delhi: The ships, aircraft and remote stations of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) have started warning fishermen and mariners in Bay of Bengal to return to the shores or take shelter at the nearest ports as cyclone Yaas is likely to intensify within the next 72 hours, an official statement said on Thursday. "As per IMD (Indian Meteorological Department) forecast, a low pressure area is very likely to form over North Andaman Sea and adjoining East Central Bay of Bengal around May 22 (Saturday)," the ICG statement said.
Yaas is forming in the Bay of Bengal a few days after the cyclone Tauktae hit the Arabian Sea. Tauktae made a landfall on Monday night near Una town in Gir Somnath, Gujarat, and wreaked havoc for around 28 hours before it weakened into a depression. At least 53 people have lost their lives in incidents related to the cyclone in different parts of Gujarat.
Regarding Yaas, the ICG said in a statement that it is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm in next 72 hours. "It is predicted to move north-westwards and reach Odisha-West Bengal coasts around May 26 evening," it added. Pre-emptive measures have already been initiated by the ICG to deal with Yaas, it mentioned.
"Weather warnings are being regularly relayed by ICG ships, aircraft and ROC (remote operating centre)/ROS (remote operating station) on VHF (very high frequency) urging fishermen and mariners to return to shore or take shelter in nearest port," it noted. These warnings are being relayed in English as well as in vernacular languages to alert merchant vessels, fishing boats, scientific research vessels, oil rigs, accommodation barges, support vessels for offshore development areas, it said. "Port authorities, oil rig operators, shipping, fisheries authorities and fishermen associations have been informed about the likelihood of cyclone formation," it noted. The ICG said a fishing ban is already in force on the east coast of India.
In addition, ICG's Disaster Relief Teams (DRTs) with inflatable boats, life buoys and life jackets are on standby for undertaking disaster response operations, it added.