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Thousands displaced in Bengal, Odisha ahead of Cyclone ‘Yaas’ landfall

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Kolkata: Hours ahead Cyclone Yaas began the landfall process, over 11.5 lakh people were evacuated in West Bengal, informed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. While, the Odisha government said it has moved over 2 lakh people from vulnerable areas in coastal districts to safety.

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The state government has set up a round-the-clock control room in the secretariat annexe to monitor the situation.

As a precaution, Kolkata airport has been closed for operations from 8.30 am to 7.45 pm and no flights will be operating to or from Kolkata, officials said.

Visuals from Bengal’s Digha and South 24 Paraganas districts, and Odisha’s Kendrapara showed strong winds and waves, with some coastal areas already flooded and people wading through knee-deep water on roads along the sea front.

Meanwhile, light-moderate rainfall was recoded at most places, whereas extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places over Medinipur and heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over Bankura, Jhargram, South 24 Parganas & heavy falls at isolated areas like Kolkata, Nadia among others today, the weather office said.

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Cyclone Yaas is nearing the eastern coast of the country, days after deadly cyclone, Tauktae, hit its west coast. As per India Meteorological Department (IMD), it will make landfall between Dhamra Port and Balasore on the Odisha coast Tuesday noon, with wind speed of up to 185 km per hour. It is expected to pass over Bengal too. Neighbouring Jharkhand has also sounded an alert and is preparing for the cyclone’s impact.

As per reports, authorities have been moving people from low-lying coastal areas in Bengal and Odisha to shelters at government buildings, schools, and other sturdy structures. Pregnant women and children were sent to government hospitals, as fishermen shifted boats to safety inland.

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The IMD Director General Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said the cyclone’s impact will be severe for six hours before and after the landfall and Chandbali in Odisha will witness the maximum damage.

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