New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday held a high-level with chief ministers of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh and Lieutenant Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to review the preparations in view of cyclone Yaas, which as Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) will intensify into a "severe cyclonic storm" in the next 24 hours.

Asking fishermen not to venture into the sea, the weather department has predicted that cyclone Yaas, which is currently near Port Blair, will hit the coasts of Odisha and West Bengal on Wednesday, barely a week after cyclone 'Tauktae' battered the western coast leaving behind a trail of destruction.

The IMD said that Yaas, named by Oman, would lead to heavy rainfall in the eastern coast of the country over the next few days with a wind speed ranging from 155 kmph to 165 kmph and gusting to 185 kmph but would not be as devastating as Tauktae.

"It would continue to move north-northwestwards, intensify further and reach Northwest Bay of Bengal near West Bengal and north Odisha coasts by 26th May morning," the IMD said.

"It is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal between the Paradip and Sagar islands by the evening of 26th May as a very severe cyclonic storm," it added.

West Bengal, Odisha governments review situation

The state governments in West Bengal and Odisha have also held crucial meets to review the situation. In West Bengal, the state government has opened control rooms at state secretariat Nabanna to monitor the cyclone and its fallout.

Meanwhile, the Odisha government has relaxed the coronavirus-induced lockdown and allowed shops to remain open in 10 coastal districts from 7 am to 1 pm on May 24 and 25 so that people get more time to buy essential items before the impact of the cyclone. The shops were earlier allowed to remain open between 7 am and 11 am on weekdays due to the lockdown.

NDRF, Army deploy teams

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed multiple teams in West Bengal and Odisha. As per the NDRF, seven teams are deployed in Balasore, 4 in Bhadrak, 3 in Kendrapada, 2 in Jajpur, one each in Jagatsinghpur and Mayurbhanj districts.

The Indian Army has also commenced preparations to mitigate the impact of the anticipated disaster by airlifting 950 NDRF personnel across the country, with 26 helicopters in standby for immediate deployment.

As per a statement from the Ministry of Defence, 70 tonnes of loads has also been airlifted from Jamnagar, Varanasi, Patna and Arakonnam to Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Port Blair in 15 Transport Aircraft as of May 23.

Trains suspended

Meanwhile, the Eastern Railways on Sunday said that 25 trains have been cancelled from May 24 and May 29 due to Cyclone Yaas. The cancelled trains include Bhagalpur-Yesvantpur, Muzaffarpur-Yesvantpur, New Tinsukia-Tambaram, Ernakulam-Patna and Guwahati-Bangalore Cant among others.

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma