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Kolkata Airport to Shut from 8:30am, No Flight Services in Odisha as Cyclone Yaas Intensifies into Very Severe Storm

Impact in districts of 24 Parganas before landfall of Cyclone Yaas.

Impact in districts of 24 Parganas before landfall of Cyclone Yaas.

IMD Director General Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said that 'Yaas' is likely to intensify into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) by Tuesday evening and Chandbali is likely to witness the maximum damage caused by it.

The Bhubaneswar airport in Odisha has shut operations from 11 pm on Tuesday, while Bengal’s Kolkata airport will close from 8:30 am on Wednesday till 7:45 pm as Cyclone Yaas that will make a landfall between Dhamra Port and Balasore on the Odisha coast at noon has intensified into a very severe storm. The cyclone is expected to hit the eastern coast with wind speed of up to 185 km per hour, and will also cross Bengal.

Sanjeev Banerjee, India Meteorological Department director, has warned that the residents of the two eastern states may witness uprooting of power lines and trees, while low lying areas will be inundated and there will be low visibility. He added that they have suspended fishing operations and they have been evacuated from coastal areas too.

Dr Umashankar Das, a scientist at the Regional Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar said that the landfall will most likely be between Dhamra and Chandbali in the district. IMD Director General Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said that ‘Yaas’ is likely to intensify into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) by Tuesday evening and Chandbali is likely to witness the maximum damage caused by it. He said the impact will be severe for six hours before and after the landfall.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has earmarked its highest-ever number of teams for deployment in Odisha and West Bengal as part of its preparations for the impending cyclone Yaas, a senior officer said on Tuesday. The federal contingency force has committed a total of 113 teams for deployment in five states and the Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands which are expected to be affected by the cyclone developing in the Bay of Bengal. Out of these, the highest the number of 52 teams are designated for Odisha followed by 45 teams for West Bengal.

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the West Bengal government has made all necessary arrangements in dealing with the aftermath of cyclone Yaas, which might affect 20 districts of the state. Addressing a press conference, Banerjee said the state is targeting to shift at least 10 lakh people to safer places in a bid to avoid any loss of life. “Cyclone Yaas’s impact is going to be much more than Amphan, according to the information we have received so far.This is going to affect at least 20 districts in West Bengal.

The districts of Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur will be severely affected," she said. The districts of Howrah, Hooghly, Bankura, Birbhum, Nadia, Paschim and Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Medinipur, Murshidabad, Jhargram, Purulia would also be affected by the cyclone, she said.

Odisha

Over three lakh people have been evacuated from the low-lying and vulnerable areas in Odisha, as the countdown for Wednesday’s landfall of cyclonic storm began. The process of moving people to safer places will be completed by tonight, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said.

The state has 860 permanent shelters and 6,200 temporary homes identified where 7 to 8 lakh can be safely accommodated observing COVID protocol, he said. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik held a meeting to take stock of the cyclone situation in the state which has already started impacting lives across the coastal districts as heavy rain pounced with blowing of wind at a speed of about 60 kmph.

Bihar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday held a review meeting on impending cyclone Yass and instructed officials to remain alert to deal with the calamity. Chairing a virtual meeting with officials of disaster management and other departments and also district magistrates, the chief minister told them to make all arrangements in advance to meet the challenges of the very severe cyclonic storm.

Kumar said as per the information Bihar will also be effected by the cyclone and so the officials should remain prepared in advance, an official statement said here. He directed officials to make alternative arrangements in hospitals, government as well as private, in the event of power getting snapped due to cyclonic impact and asked them to make a dry run of the optional preparation.

Additional chief secretary of disaster management and health departments Pratyaya Amrit briefed about the information received from the Indian Meteorological department on cyclone. He said there is a possibility of rain and thunderstorm in Bihar from May 27 to May 30 and the district magistrates have been told about it.

Bengal

In West Bengal, authorities were scrambling to move tens of thousands of people to cyclone shelters. Officials said at least 20 districts in the state will feel the brunt of the storm.

Last May, nearly 100 people died in Cyclone Amphan, the most powerful storm in more than a decade to hit eastern India, including West Bengal state. It flattened villages, destroyed farms and left millions without power in eastern India and Bangladesh. We haven’t been able to fix the damage to our home from the last cyclone. Now another cyclone is coming, how will we stay here? said Samitri, who uses only one name.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that the West Bengal government has made all necessary arrangements in dealing with the aftermath of cyclone Yaas, which might affect 20 districts of the state. Addressing a press conference, Banerjee said the state is targeting to shift at least 10 lakh people to safer places in a bid to avoid any loss of life.

The districts of Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur will be severely affected," she said. The districts of Howrah, Hooghly, Bankura, Birbhum, Nadia, Paschim and Purba Bardhaman, Paschim Medinipur, Murshidabad, Jhargram, Purulia would also be affected by the cyclone, she said.

In Malda, Uttar and Dakshin Dinajpur, Darjeeling and Kalimpong there is a forecast of rain, Banerjee added. The calamity will continue for 72 hours, she said.

“The state government has banned all forms of tourism in the coastal areas as well as fishing activities in the sea," the chief minister said. “District administrations and police have been asked to deal with violations strictly to prevent any loss of life," she said.

At least 51 disaster management teams have been readied, keeping in view the possible devastations predicted by experts, Banerjee said. Ferry services at 13 places have been shut, she said, assuring that the state has sufficient stock of relief materials that are kept ready at the block level.

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