The Indian Meteorological Department said that Cyclone Yaas is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours. The cyclonic storm will bring strong winds traveling with a speed up to 180 km per hour. The weather department has issued a rainfall warning for West Bengal and Odisha.
Cyclone Yaas, considered as powerful as cyclone Tauktae, is currently centered near 16.4 N/89.6 E, 630 km south-southeast of Balasore, Odisha.
“The Deep Depression over East-central Bay of Bengal remained practically stationary during past 6 hours, intensified into Cyclonic Storm ‘Yaas’ and lay centered at 0530 hrs IST of Monday over East-central Bay of Bengal near latitude 16.3 N and longitude 89.7 E, about 600 km north-northwest of Port Blair (Andaman Islands), 540 km south-southeast of Paradip (Odisha), 650 km south-southeast of Balasore (Odisha) and 630 km south southeast of Digha (West Bengal),” IMD said.
The government of Bengal and Odisha are on high alert as the cyclonic storm is expected to reach Odisha and West Bengal coasts by May 26 early morning. The cyclone will bring wind with a speed ranging 155-165 km per hour and gusting to 185 km per hour.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), military and Coast guard are deployed in both states. Around 85 NDRF teams are pressed into service, of which 32 are on duty in Bengal and 28 are in Odisha. Some teams are also deployed in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Meanwhile, NDRF Chief SN Pradhan has asked the state governments to carry out the evacuation in the least vulnerable places.
“What we have learned so far from our experience over the years is that if the disaster prediction is X, then you must prepare for 2X because a natural phenomenon can turn worse in a matter of hours. So, if the forecast is for a very severe cyclone of 150 km per hour, you should gear up for an extremely severe cyclone,” the NDRF chief said.