Cyclone Yaas is foreseen to hit the coastal lands of West Bengal and Odisha on Wednesday (26th May), with a top-notch speed of 180kms per hour. Experts predict that the storm will intensify and become a severe cyclonic storm over the next 24 hours. Cyclone Tauktae, which wreaked havoc on the west coast last week, appears to have succumbed to Cyclone Yaas. It is also believed that as Cyclone Yaas will be travelling across the land, the next 48 hours will help it transform into a very devastating storm.
The deep depression over the Bay of Bengal could be one of the many reasons why the storm is becoming intensified with every approaching movement toward the states, claimed the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
"On Monday morning, the system was 540 km south-southeast of Paradip in Odisha and 630 km south-southeast of Digha in West Bengal, and it is very likely to move north-north-westwards and intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by Tuesday and a very severe cyclonic storm by Wednesday morning," said IMD.
Sanjib Bandopadhyay ( Deputy Director, Kolkata’s Regional Meteorological Centre) said "‘Yaas’ is likely to cross the Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar Islands around noon on May 26 as a very severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds of 155-165 kph."
After analyzing the aftermaths of the cyclone Tauktae, both states are heavily preparing themselves. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), along with the support of military personnel and coast guards, have deployed themselves in the regions of higher risks. There are a total of 85 NDRF teams. West Bengal possessing the highest threat from ‘Yaas’ has taken the maximum of it, 32 teams have been provided to the state. Odisha following the list has taken 28 teams to tackle the calamity. Teams left have been deployed in states like Andra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andaman, and the Nicobar Islands. Indian navy is also having a keen eye on the cyclone and closely tracking it.
"Naval aircraft are kept ready at naval air stations INS Dega at Visakhapatnam and INS Rajali near Chennai to undertake an aerial survey of the affected areas, casualty evacuation, and airdrop of relief materials as required," – statement by the Indian Navy.
"Headquarters, Eastern naval command, and naval officers-in-charge in West Bengal and Odisha areas have carried out preparatory activities to combat the effects of cyclone 'Yaas' and are in constant liaison with the state administrations to render assistance as required," added the Indian Navy.
On the East Coast, the Indian Coast Guard is also making their blood warm to face the potential threats posed by the emerging cyclonic storm. Precautionary measures have been taken by the Coast Guard Eastern Seaboard, which includes the stationary movement of ships and aircraft towards the Eastern Seaboard.
On Sunday, the state and central agencies came together to highlight the essentials and to have a cross-check on the readiness of the ministry level to tackle the gusting winds.
Narendra Modi (Prime Minister, India) while addressing the meeting, laid his concern on the proper functioning and coordination between the states at high risk. The states should start preparing themselves to make sure the evacuation of the people affected is quick and successful. Having an experience of Cyclone ‘Amphan’, Modi highlighted the time duration for which the power supply and communication were gone. This time he wants the states to stress the rapid and swift restoration of the power and communication supply if things turn out to be the latter.
Also in a statement, reported to be issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), he mentioned the officials to ensure proper vaccination going on, as part of the fight against the viral disease. The hospitals should not face any disruption in treating the COVID-19 affected bodies.
Yaas is forecast to be as strong as Cyclone Tauktae, but less so than Cyclone Amphan, which hit Bengal exactly one year ago. Aman recorded a wind speed of 240 kph for a continuous 3 minutes, which engulfed the lives of 80 people.