Bengal, Odisha prep for Cyclone Yaas; IMD says Amphan-like intensification can't be ruled out | All you need to know

Bengal, May 20: After severe cyclone storm Tauktae On the west coast, another cyclone named Yaas is likely to hit the east coast on May 26, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

A low-pressure area is very likely to form over the north Andaman Sea and adjoining east-central Bay of Bengal around May 22, it said. It is likely to intensify gradually into a cyclonic storm in the subsequent 72 hours, the IMD added.

Under the influence of the system, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, and Meghalaya are likely to receive light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy falls at isolated places from the evening of May 25, the weather department said.

Here’s the latest on Cyclone Yaas:

  • IMD officials said they cannot rule out the possibility that Yaas will intensify like Amphan. “We cannot rule out an Amphan-like intensification. The only good thing is that models as of now are showing that the system is moving very fast over the sea. Its intensification will be restricted if its time overseas is less,” Sunitha Devi, who tracks cyclones at IMD.
  • Officials in Odisha have started making preparations for the cyclone. Odisha Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep K Jena on Wednesday held a preparatory meeting with the collectors of 10 coastal districts along with SPs, fire department officers, and emergency officials.
  • He directed district authorities to identify the shelters, check facilities and infrastructure and deploy staff and prepare an evacuation plan.
  • There is no confirmed information that the cyclone will make landfall on the Odisha coast. We have received some preliminary reports from IMD which predicted a possible cyclonic storm in Odisha-West Bengal coast on May 26,” Jena told reporters after the meeting.
  • In West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday directed senior government officials to make all the necessary arrangements. She chaired a virtual meeting, where Banerjee directed officers to arrange for adequate stock of medicines, drinking water, dry food, and tarpaulins.
  • Warning that sea conditions are likely to be rough to very rough, the Met Department advised fishermen not to venture into the Bay of Bengal from May 24.
  • The IMD said that the west coast, especially the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, are still assessing the damage that was done by extremely severe cyclonic storm Tauktae. The Navy on Thursday morning launched a fresh aerial search and rescue mission, deploying helicopters to scour the waters off Mumbai coast, where the accommodation barge P305 went adrift in Cyclone Tauktae fury before it sank on Monday.
  • As many as 26 personnel on board the barge are dead and 49 still missing. The navy said that it has so far rescued 186 of the 261 people who were on board the barge P305.
  • The pre-monsoon months of April and May usually witness the formation of cyclones on the eastern as well as the western coast.
  • May 2020 saw two cyclones – super cyclonic storm Amphan and severe cyclonic storm Nisarga – which hit the eastern and western coast, respectively.