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Odisha, West Bengal gear up to minimize impact of cyclone ‘Yaas’

The Odisha government has made arrangements to minimize the impact of the cyclone with several rescue, relief and restoration teams and strategies in place.

More than five lakh people have already been evacuated to cyclone shelters in the vulnerable districts like Bhadrak, Balasore, Jagatsingpur, Kendrapada and Mayurbhanj.

In addition to about 6900 safe shelters where the evacuees are being accommodated, many pucca public buildings in the highly vulnerable areas have also been kept open for people to take shelter if the need arises.

With the very severe cyclonic storm centred at about 40 kilometres from Dhamra, which is not very far from the Odisha coast, strong winds and heavy rains continue to lash several parts of north Odisha, more so in districts like Bhadrak, Jagatsingpur and Balasore.

With the Indian Meteorological Department predicting a wind speed  between 130 kilometres to 140 kilometres per hour, heavy to very heavy and even extremely heavy rainfall have been taking place and will continue to take place during the day today in the north odisha coastal and  adjacent interior districts.

As per the state government, all preemptive measures are in place to cushion the cyclone severity.

Meanwhile, the Biju Patnaik International Airport in capital Bhubaneswar ,that has been witnessing intermittent rainfall since the last 24 hours, has been shut from last night till 5 in the morning tomorrow, as a precautionary measure.

In West Bengal, rough sea condition is prevailing in the coastal areas along East Medinipur due to the impact of very severe cyclone Yaas.

Tidal waves of about 2 meters height above astronomical tide are likely to inundate low lying coastal areas around the time of landfall in East Medinipur and South 24 Parganas.

The met department issued a red warning for East and West Medinipur and predicted extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places over the two districts.

Orange warning has been sounded for eleven districts including South 24 Parganas and Kolkata with a prediction of heavy to very heavy rain.

In East Medinipur, squall wind speed is likely to be gradually increased to 90 to 120 kilometers per hour  gusting up to 145 Kmph around noon at the time of landfall of Yaas. 5.4 centimeters of rainfall has been recorded at Digha till 6.30 am this morning with a wind speed of 39 Kmph.

In South 24 Parganas, river embankments have been damaged at various places across Sunderbans, as the district has been facing heavy rainfall with wind speeds of 40 to 50 Kmph.

Over 11 lakh people have been evacuated from across the low lying and coastal areas in the state.

Nearly 3 lakh persons have been pressed into action.

17 Cyclone Relief Columns of the Army, comprising specialised army personnel with associated equipment and inflated boats  have been deployed to the state government.

Columns have been positioned at 10 districts and 9 columns have been kept on standby in Kolkata.

In Kolkata, operation of flights have been suspended at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport from 8.30 am to 7.45pm today in view of the weather warning.

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