New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Yaas cyclone weakened into a severe cyclonic storm on Wednesday after striking hard the beach towns in north Odisha and West Bengal with a wind speed of 130-145 kmph. The low-lying areas of the two eastern states were inundated amid an already ongoing COVID crisis. The cyclone which was earlier classified as a very severe cyclonic storm hit the coast north of Dhamra in Odisha's Bhadrak district around 9 am. The landfall process was over around 1:30 pm.

In several villages of Bahanaga and Remuna blocks in the Balasore district, and Dhamra and Basudevpur in the Bhadrak district, the seawater entered during the storm according to the Special Relief Commissioner, PK Jena. With the help of the locals, the administration is trying to drain out the saline water from the villages.

Further, heavy rainfall in the Similipal National Park in Mayurbhanj district led to the fear of a fresh flood in the Budhabalang river. However, by afternoon the water level in the river was at 21 metres against the danger level of 27 metres.

Meanwhile, the Mayurbhanj district administration started evacuating people from vulnerable points on both sides of the river and also from low-lying areas. The restoration work for power lines which was snapped earlier has also started in some places of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur district. According to officials, not much damage has been caused in these districts.

However, locals have confirmed the death of one person, identified as Purna Chandra Nayak, who was killed in Panchupalli village in Anantapur block of Kenojhar district after a tree fell on him. The administration has not given any confirmation on this.

Meanwhile, the IMD said that the sea will remain rough till Thursday and the accompanying rain will continue. The wind will slow down by the evening and the cyclone is likely to leave Odisha for Jharkhand by midnight.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that one crore people were affected by the cyclone in the state while three lakh houses were damaged. She claimed that West Bengal was the most affected state due to the cyclone.

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. 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.

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 said.

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. "We are ready to deal with the situation and have formed rescue teams," Director-General of Police Neeraj Sinha said.


(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan