Guwahati: Very severe cyclonic storm Yaas has weakened into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ and, at 12.30 pm, was centred over north coastal Odisha – around 15 km from Balasore. It is expected to move north-northwest and weaken further into a ‘cyclonic storm’. 185 km per hour winds were predicted but revised to 130-140 km per hour after Yaas failed to intensify past 2 am.
Yaas is likely to move over Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district later today, with 100-110 km per hour winds, before weakening and turning toward Jharkhand by midnight. Visuals from Ranchi show increased wind speeds and overcast skies. The state is on high alert and officials have begun evacuations from vulnerable areas like east and west Singhbhum.
In Bengal, around 20,000 mud houses and temporary shelters were either destroyed or damaged, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters this afternoon. Bengal minister Bankim Hazra said: “I have not seen anything like this before” after sea waters inundated low-lying areas in Digha, where a police station was flooded.
Around 5.8 lakh people have been shifted from low-lying regions in Odisha and around 11.5 lakh from places along the Bengal coast. Chief ministers of both states held review meetings Tuesday, with particular focus on arrangements – including supply of oxygen and electricity – for Covid hospitals in vulnerable regions. Ms Banerjee will spend tonight at her office – “Nabanna” – to monitor Yaas’ impact and subsequent relief efforts.