The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday predicted that the cyclonic storm Yaas is going to intensity into a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ in the next 12 hours.
“The severe cyclonic storm Yaas over east-central Bay of Bengal moved north-northwestwards with a speed of about 9 kmph during past six hours and lay centred at 9 UTC of May 24 over east-central Bay of Bengal,” IMD said in its bulletin.
“It is very likely to move north-northwestwards, intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during next 12 hours. It would continue to move north-northwestwards, intensify further and reach northwest Bay of Bengal near North Odisha and West Bengal coasts by May 26 early morning,” the weather agency said.
It also stated that Cyclone Yaas is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar Island around Balasore, during noon of May 26 as a ‘Very Severe Cyclonic Storm’.
The maximum sustained wind speed is 55 knots gusting to 65 knots around system centre. Sea condition is rough to very rough, it stated.
Union home minister Amit Shah on Monday reviewed preparations, including evacuation of people in vulnerable coastal areas and safe return of all ships and vessels as well as safety of Covid-19 facilities such as oxygen plants situated in the region.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the people living in the coastal regions of Odisha to cooperate with the local administration and shift to cyclone shelters. Addressing the people of the state yesterday, the CM also asked them to adhere to COVID-19 protocols and wear two masks.
At a video conference held with the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal and the Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, besides officials of concerned ministries, Shah said a 24×7 control room is functioning in the MHA, which can be contacted by them any time for assistance.
The storm will lead to intense rain activity in states as far away as Bihar. The Patna Meteorological Centre (PMC) said on Monday that Cyclone Yaas is likely to trigger heavy to extremely heavy rain in the parts of the state in the next two to three days. It has also issued an orange-colour warning for May 27 and 28.
Bihar’s neighbour Jharkhand has been placed under red alert category by the weather department. The IMD has predicted extreme rainfall in southern and central parts of the state on Wednesday and Thursday. The teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deputed in East Singhbhum and Ranchi districts.
The cyclone will also impact Bangladesh. The authorities there have asked all fishing boats and trawlers over the north Bay of Bengal and the deep sea to move closer to the coast ahead of Yaas.
Scientists say cyclones in India are becoming more frequent and changing climate patterns have caused them to become more intense. Last May, nearly 100 people died in Cyclone Amphan, the most powerful storm to hit eastern India in more than a decade. It flattened villages, destroyed farms and left millions without power in eastern India and Bangladesh.