Disasters & Accidents

Very severe cyclone Yaas begins landfall in India

New Delhi/Dhaka, May 26 (EFE).- The “very severe” cyclone Yaas started landfall early Wednesday on the eastern coast of India with winds of between 130-140 kilometers per hour (81-81 miles per hour), while more than one million people have been evacuated from the region.

“Very severe cyclonic storm Yaas centred about 50 km south-southeast of Balasore. Landfall process has commenced around 0900 hrs (3am GMT),” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) tweeted.

IMD added that the process, in the eastern state of Odisha, was expected to take three hours to complete.

With winds of 130-140 kph and gusts of 155 kph, the cyclone was predicted to cross northern Odisha and the coast of neighboring Bengal state by noon.

It will be accompanied in some areas by heavy rain, increasing the danger of flooding.

The authorities evacuated 1.1 million people in Bengal and some 200,000 in Odisha to shelters.

On the other hand, in neighboring Bangladesh the impact of the cyclone was expected to be lesser, and the country has decided against the need for carrying out evacuations.

“We were ready for evacuation, but it was not required,” said Nur Islam Khan, director (operations) of Cyclone Preparedness Programme of Bangladesh.

Abdullah Sadid, a senior official in the Patuakhali district of southern Bangladesh, told EFE that “many areas were flooded due to tidal surge, no other damages. There is wind but everything else seems normal.”

Yaas comes a little over a week after another cyclone Tauktae left at least 145 dead on the western coast of India, which is facing a double crisis as the coronavirus death toll continues to rise in the country, with more than 4,000 fatalities in the last 24 hours.

Cyclones are a common occurrence in the Bay of Bengal, especially between April-May and October-November. In May 2020, super-cyclone Amphan killed over 100 people in India and Bangladesh, becoming one of the deadliest storms in the region in the last few years. EFE


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