Balasore / Kolkata / Ranchi: Cyclone “Yaas”, winds blowing up to 130-145 km / h, lashed the eastern coasts of the country on Wednesday, dumping heavy rains, damaging houses and farmland, and causing at least four dead – three in Odisha and one in Bengal – officials said.
Thick layers of rain blurred the vast coastline, as the cyclone made landfall around 9 a.m. near Dhamra port in Odisha, with surging waters submerging houses of mud and thatch in low areas, where a Mass evacuation was undertaken to move more than 20 lakh people to safety.
The storm, which had weakened by the afternoon, had left coastal states on edge, with the government of Bengal saying at least one million people had been affected by the calamity so far, so that he cried out on his destructive path to Jharkhand.
“Yaas” is the second cyclonic storm to hit India in the week after “Tauktae” tore up its west coast, causing death and destruction.
Sea water flooded several villages in the blocks of Bahanaga and Remuna in Balasore district, and Dhamra and Basudevpur in Bhadrak district, said Odisha Special Commissioner for Relief, PK Jena.
The administration, with the help of residents, is taking steps to remove saline water from the villages, Jena said.
Heavy rains in Similipal National Park, Mayurbhanj district raised fears of sudden flooding in the Budhabalang River. In the afternoon, the water level in the river was 21 meters against the danger level of 27 meters, said the special commissioner for relief.
Local sources said two people were killed – one each in Keonjhar and Balasore – after trees fell on them, but there was no official confirmation yet.
Another elderly woman from Mayurbhanj is believed to have died after her house collapsed.
Power line restoration work has started in several places in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur districts after the cables broke, Jena said, adding that the storm would likely move to Jharkhand by midnight.
Odisha moved 5.8 lakh to safer locations and West Bengal 15 lakh, ahead of the cyclone, amid concerns about the spread of COVID-19 infection in temporary shelters, as the country is struggling with the second wave of the raging pandemic.
The chief minister of Bengal claimed that her state was the “most affected”, pointing out that three lakh houses and 134 embankments had been damaged by the cyclone.
She also said that one person, who had been rescued initially, died “accidentally” later.
Banerjee further said relief supplies worth Rs 10 crore had been sent to the affected areas.
The picturesque town of Digha in eastern Midnapore, which shares the border with the Balasore district of Odisha, was inundated as the military was called in for rescue operations, a defense official said.
Parts of the nearby tourist towns of Mandarmani, Tajpur and Shankarpur have also been flooded, with seawater entering hotels and residential areas, in addition to causing damage to kutcha shops and houses.
In some areas, waves have been seen crashing as high as the coconut palms that line popular beaches.
A school, located along the coast at Shankarpur, was washed away by the high and powerful waves of the sea.
The military has deployed 17 columns in West Bengal to assist the administration, the defense official said.
An army rescue operation was also underway in Orphuli in Howrah district, he said.
In southern 24 Parganas, hundreds of villagers have been displaced to Kakdwip, Fraserganj, Gosaba and the Sunderbans region as several houses were severely damaged by rising sea levels and high winds, officials said.
Several rivers were in flood due to the phenomenal rise in water level – caused by the double effect of the storm surge and the astronomical tide due to the full moon.
Flooding has also been reported on Sagar Island, at the confluence of Hooghly and the Bay of Bengal.
The much-revered Kapil Muni temple complex in the Sagar Islands was submerged, as tidal waves as high as five feet crashed onto the sidewalks.
Some boats and fishing gear have been destroyed in the ports of Kakdwip, leaving fishermen without their means of subsistence.
“We will starve if the government does not provide us with assistance,” said an unfortunate villager from Kakdwip as his boat was wrecked in front of him.
The port of Kolkata was on edge as Hooghly swelled to eight meters, surpassing the heights of the outer lock gate of the Haldia quay system, an official said.
The military, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), and state police and civil defense volunteers were working around the clock. to keep people safe, officials said.
Water exploration has also been reported in some low lying areas of Calcutta, with authorities facing a difficult time cleaning up the area due to the high tide in Hooghly, they said.
The meteorological office predicted extremely heavy precipitation in the eastern and western districts of Midnapore and heavy to very heavy precipitation in the districts of Jhargram, Bankura and South 24 Parganas over the next 24 hours.
Heavy rains will occur in isolated places in the districts of Purulia, Nadia, Murshidabad, Purba Bardhaman, Howrah, Hooghly, Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, Darjeeling and Kalimpong due to the effect of “Yaas”, the meteorological office said. .
In Odisha, a red warning for heavy to very heavy rains was issued in nine districts.
“Heavy to very heavy rains in a few places with isolated extremely heavy falls are very likely to occur in the districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Dhenkanal,” the meteorological office said. .
The cyclone was centered about 15 kilometers west of Balasore at 1:30 p.m. with an intensity of 100 to 110 km / h, gusting to 120 km / h.
It would move north-northwest and gradually weaken into a cyclonic storm over the next six hours, the meteorologist said.
The Jharkhand, which is already on high alert, continued to evacuate low areas during the day as the cyclone hit the state by midnight, officials said in Ranchi.
Evacuations are being carried out on the face of war in vulnerable areas in eastern and western Singhbhum, in addition to some other districts, due to the natural calamity, the disaster management secretary told PTI, Amitabh Kaushal.
The districts of East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Saraikela-Kharsawan are likely to experience “very high seas”, with a wind speed of 92-117 km / h, the meteorological office said.
“We are ready to face the situation and have formed rescue teams,” said Jharkhand Police Director General Neeraj Sinha. PTI