PM updates on Yaas Cyclone: Odisha, W. Bengal brace for disruptions

New Delhi, May 23 (UNI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked for timely evacuation of those involved in off-shore activities as the two eastern States of Odisha and West Bengal remained on high alert, bracing for a “very severe cyclone”.

Named Yaas by Oman and meaning a tree of flagrant flower, the cyclone will be the second storm to hit the Indian coast within 10 days after Cyclone Tauktae crossed Gujarat on May 17.

The prime minister reviewed the preparedness of the central agencies and the two States to deal with the situation arising out of a depression that the Indian Meterological Department forecast would develop into a “very severe cyclone”.

He asked officials to coordinate with the States to ensure evacuation of people from high-risk areas, and restoration of power supply and communication network, said the Prime Minister’s Office.

Mr Modi also called for involving stakeholders like coastal communities and industries.

“Also emphasised on ensuring COVID-19 treatment of patients in affected areas does not suffer due to the cyclone. Praying for everyone’s safety and well-being,” Mr Modi said in tweet.

The prime minister held the review meeting as the IMD said that the cyclone is expected to cross north Odisha and West Bengal coasts by May 26 evening with a wind speed ranging between 155-165 kmph and gusting to 185 kmph.

It is likely to cause heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of the two States. And there would be a storm surge in the low lying areas.

IMD Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said the low-pressure area, formed over the east-central Bay of Bengal on Saturday morning, has intensified into a depression on Sunday and by Monday morning, it will form a cylone.

“It is very likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm” Mohapatra said, adding that it will cross coasts of Odisha and West Bengal in the evening of May 26 between Paradip and Sagar Islands.

The PMO statement said the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry has taken steps to secure all oil installations in the sea and to bring back their shipping vessels to safe harbour.

The Ministry of Power has activated emergency response systems and is keeping in readiness transformers, DG sets and other equipment for immediate restoration of electricity.

The Union Home Ministry has been constantly reviewing the situation and in touch with the States.

The Defence Ministry has also put the Navy and Air Force on guard. The National Disaster Response Force has asked the States to be ready for a worst-case scenario. It sent 22 teams to Odisha and would dispatch 10 more, said NDRF DG SN Pradhan. The NDRF has also stationed 12 teams in West Bengal and put some on standby.

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