New Delhi: The cyclonic storm at the Bay of Bengal is expected to hit the West Bengal and Odisha coasts as ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ Cyclone Yaas on Wednesday, May 26 causing heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of both the states.

The cyclonic system is currently centred about 590 km north-northwest of Port Blair at 1730 hrs IST of May 23. It will intensify into a ‘Cyclonic Storm’ by morning of May 24 and further into a ‘Very Severe Cyclonic Storm’ during the subsequent 24 hours.

The cyclone is likely to make landfall between Paradip and Sagar islands on evening of May 26 with a wind speed of 155- 165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph, a storm surge warning of about 2-4 meters has been issued by the IMD on Sunday as per data from its observed and forecast track.  

PM Modi holds review meeting on Cyclone Yaas 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday held a meeting with senior government officials and ministers to review the preparations for the approaching Cyclone Yaas. PM Modi directed senior officers to work in close co-ordination with states to ensure the safe evacuation of people from high-risk areas.

As per the statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office, “He spoke about the need to ensure that time duration of outages of power supply and communication network are minimum and are restored swiftly. PM also asked officials to ensure proper co-ordination and planning with state governments to ensure no disruptions in Covid treatment and vaccination in hospitals.”

The meeting was also attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, along with senior government officials and representatives from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Secretaries from Telecom, Power, Civil aviation, Earth Sciences Ministries to review preparations.

Army, IAF, Navy and Indian Coast Guard deployed

The tri-services and the Indian Coast Guard have taken several steps to mitigate the impact of Cyclone Yaas that is expected to hit the eastern coast of India on Monday, the defence ministry said.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) has airlifted 950 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel and 70 tonnes material from Jamnagar, Varanasi, Patna, and Arakonnam to Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Port Blair on 15 transport aircraft, as on Sunday.

While, eight ships of the Eastern Naval Command and the Andaman and Nicobar Command have been embarked with HADR Bricks to provide succour to the people likely to be impacted.

The armed forces are also in constant touch with the civil administration of the affected states. “The armed forces remain ready to mitigate the impact of the impending cyclone, save lives and provide succour to the fellow citizens,” as per details shared by defence ministry official on Sunday.

Indian Railways cancel 119 more trains

The South Eastern Railway (SER) has announced the cancellation of 119 trains as a precautionary measure ahead of Cyclone Yaas. In a press release on Sunday, SER said that in addition to 78 trains announced on Saturday, 41 more will remain cancelled. Earlier, the East Coast Railway announced that it has cancelled 74 trains originating or terminating from Bhubaneswar and Puri. Western Railway had also announced cancellation of 7 trains on the Odisha, Gujarat and Rajasthan routes.

On Saturday, the Northern Railway temporarily cancelled over a dozen trains from the national capital to and from Bhubaneswar and Puri in Odisha.

Meanwhile a 90-member team of the National Disaster Response Force, the State Diaster Response Force and coastal guards have been pressed into action to evacuate the people from the low-lying areas.

A control room has been set up in the Power Department that will function 24×7 from 25 May. The contact numbers for the control room are 8900793503 and 8900793504.

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