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Cyclone Yaas to hit West Bengal and Odisha: All about this storm

By HT School Web Desk,

As these two states brace for cyclone Yaas, here’s all one needs to know about it.

Fishermen carry a boat to a safe place ahead of Cyclone Yaas at Puri beach in Odisha. Image: PTI

It has been barely a week since cyclone Taukate battered the western and southern shores of India and there’s another one that the country has to get ready for, on a war footing. According to the weather bulletin of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), a severe cyclone storm named Yaas is on its way towards Odisha and West Bengal. This cyclonic storm is going to hit the eastern coasts of India on May 26, making its landfall between Odisha’s Paradip and West Bengal’s Sagar Islands. The nomenclature of this storm has been done by Oman. Yaas is a Persian word meaning Jasmin in English. Here’s a low-down on this cyclonic storm.  

Yaas and its direction 
IMD’s National Weather Forecasting Centre reported that around 8:30 AM today, Yaas was centred over the east-central Bay of Bengal, about 620km north-northwest of Port Blair in the Andaman Islands, 530km south-southeast of Paradip in Odisha, 630km south-southeast of Odisha’s Balasore and 620 km south-southeast of Digha in West Bengal. According to IMD, within 12 hours, it is going to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm, making its way north-north-westwards, and turn into a very severe cyclonic storm within 24 hours. It is likely to move north-north-westwards, take an even severe form as it reaches Northwest Bay of Bengal near north Odisha and West Bengal coasts by the early morning of May 26. Yaas will probably cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar islands around noon of the same day.  

Expected weather conditions 
Yaas is likely to be characterised by winds hovering between 155-165 kmph and gusting up to 185 kmph. Heavy rainfall is expected in the eastern coastal shores from May 25 which is likely to intensify the next day. As far as the speed of wind is concerned, it is likely to range between 40-60 kmph today along the north Bay of Bengal and coasts of Odisha, West Bengal and Bangladesh. The speed is going to intensify by the afternoon of May 26 May, reaching 110 kmph by the afternoon and 155-165 kmph around the evening. The weather department also forecasts that the sea conditions may become very high to phenomenal over northern parts of central Bay of Bengal, north Bay of Bengal and along & off north Andhra Pradesh-Odisha–West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between May 24 and 26.  

Areas to be hit 
According to the predictions of the IMD, Yaas is going to  north coastal Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal (Howrah, Hooghly, Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, Nadia, Murshidabad, Darjeeling, Malda, Medinipur) Odisha (Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Ganjam, Dhenkanal, Mayurbhanj, Puri, Khurda, Angul, Deogarh), Sikkim, Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam and Meghalaya.  

Is India Prepared for Yaas? 
The Indian Navy has put four warships loaded with humanitarian assistance, disaster relief materials and medical teams. Along with the naval ships, it has kept a number of aircraft on ‘standby’ mode at naval air stations INS Dega, Visakhapatnam and INS Rajali, Chennai. They are meant to survey the affected areas, help in casualty evacuation and airdrop of relief materials. Additionally, the navy has also got eight flood relief teams and four diving teams ready for Odisha and West Bengal.  

The Indian Air Force, on the other hand, has deployed 11 transport aircraft and 25 helicopters for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations. It has also transported 334 National Disaster Response Force personnel and 21 tonnes of relief materials to Kolkata and Port Blair. 

While the Odisha Chief Minister Naveen has directed evacuation of citizens in low-lying areas and placed 14 districts on high alert, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has set up a control room for monitoring the condition.  

(With inputs from PTI) 

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