After the devastating Cyclone Tuktae battered states along India’s West Coast, now another ‘super’ Cyclone – ‘Yaas’ is set to form this week over the East Coast.
As per the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) a low-pressure region would form over the north Andaman Sea and adjoining the east-central Bay of Bengal around 22 May and holds the potential to intensify into a cyclonic storm in the subsequent 72 hours.
If realized, this storm will be the second to form in 2021 and the first over the Bay of Bengal this year. Once the cyclone forms, it will acquire the name ‘Yaas’, given by Oman.
Under its influence, 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.
IMD officials said they cannot rule out the possibility that Yaas will intensify like Amphan – another super cyclone that hit the eastern coast in May last year. On the upside though, the IMD said, “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 over the sea is less.”
Meanwhile, Odisha and Bengal have started prepping for the cyclone and have warned fishermen against venturing into the sea from May 21 onwards. Those at sea are advised to return to safety before May 23.
In Odisha, Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep K Jena on Wednesday held a preparatory meeting with the coastal district authorities to identify the shelters, check facilities and infrastructure and deploy staff and to prepare an evacuation plan.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee directed senior government officials to make all the necessary arrangements and arrange for adequate stock of medicines, drinking water, dry food and tarpaulins.
This comes after the tremendous damage done by Cyclone Tauktae along the Western Coast, especially in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, which led ONGC’s barge ‘P305’ to sink with 261 people on board when it got caught in the storm earlier this week. Of these, 186 have been rescued while as many as 26 of the 75 people missing. The search operation by the Indian Navy is still on.