New Delhi: At least one crore people in Bengal have been affected by this natural disaster and three lakh houses have been damaged as of now due to rough weather condition arising out of Cyclone Yaas, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday (May 26). She added that one person died an accidental death even after he was rescued. Relief materials worth Rs 10 crore were sent to the affected areas, she said.
Cyclone Yaas, which began its landfall on Wednesday morning near Dhamra port in Odisha, has completed the process, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
The resort town of Digha in East Midnapore, which shares a border with Balasore district of Odisha, was completely inundated with the Army being called in for rescue operations, a defence official said. The nearby beach resorts of Mandarmani, Tajpur and Shankarpur were also flooded with seawaters entering the hotels and flooding the roads, besides causing damage to kutcha shops and houses. In certain areas, the waves even went past the top of coconut trees that line these popular beaches.
The Army has deployed 17 columns in West Bengal to assist the state administration, the defence official said. Rescue operation by the Army was also on at Orphuli in the Howrah district, he said.
In South 24 Parganas, many places, including Kakdwip, Fraserganj, Gosaba and Maipith in the Sunderbans region were flooded, displacing lakhs of villagers as thousands of kutcha houses were extensively damaged in the surging water and gale wind, officials said.
Several rivers in the riverine delta region were in spate owing to the phenomenal rise in water level caused by the dual effect of storm surge from the cyclone and the astronomical tide due to the full moon, they said.
Flooding was also reported from Sagar island at the confluence of Hooghly and Bay of Bengal. The water level rose to nearly five feet in front of the famed Kapil Muni temple near the beach on the island, officials said.
Some fishing boats and equipment were also destroyed at harbours in Kakdwip, leaving the fishermen devoid of their livelihood.
The weather office has forecast extremely heavy rainfall in East and West Midnapore districts and heavy to very heavy rainfall in Jhargram, Bankura, South 24 Parganas districts over the next 24 hours.
Heavy rain will occur at isolated places in Purulia, Nadia, Murshidabad, Purba Bardhaman, Howrah, Hooghly, Kolkata, North 24 Parganas, Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts owing to the effect of ‘Yaas’, the weather office said.
Odisha shifted 5.8 lakh people to safer places, while West Bengal moved 15 lakh people ahead of the cyclone, amid concerns over following COVID-19 norms at the temporary shelters as the two states battled the pandemic, reporting thousands of new cases daily.
Local sources said that a person was killed in Panchupalli village in Anadapur block of Kenojhar district after a tree fell on him but there was no official confirmation of the death. The man was identified as Purna Chandra Nayak. Besides, a man was injured in the Balasore district after he was hit by a falling tree, Odisha’s Special Relief Commissioner PK Jena said.
In Odisha, a red warning of heavy to very heavy rainfall was issued for nine districts. “Heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places with isolated extremely heavy fall very likely to occur over the districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Dhenkanal,” the weather office said.
The system lay centred at about 15 kilometre west of Balasore at 1.30 pm with intensity of 100-110 kmph, gusting to 120 kmph. It would move north-northwestwards and weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm during the next six hours, the weather office said.
Jharkhand, which was already on high alert, continued evacuating low-lying areas amid the forecast that the cyclone would be hitting the state by midnight, officials in Ranchi said.
Operations are being executed on war-footing in the vulnerable areas in East and West Singhbhum, besides some other districts, in view of Yaas, Disaster Management Secretary Amitabh Kaushal told PTI.
East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum and Saraikela-Kharsawan districts of the state are likely to witness “very high seas” situation with wind speed of 92-117 kmph, the weather office said.