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Cyclone Yaas Impact on Odisha and West Bengal

Cyclone Yaas: Origin

Cyclone Yaas was a very severe and damaging Cyclone that caused severe damage to Odisha and later it also had a very significant impact on West Bengal. It was the second cyclonic storm and the second very severe storm of the 2021 North Indian Ocean Cyclone season. The Indian Meteorological department first noticed the formation of Cyclone Yaas on 23rd May 2021. Later that day, the system converted into a deep depression which favored the development of the severe storm and got its name Yaas the next day.

Cyclone Yaas: Formation of Storm

Despite moderate wind shear, the cyclone turned into a very severe cyclonic storm. The cyclonic storm intensified and turned towards the northeast on 24th May. It continued to move towards the northeast and strengthen up to a Category 1- equivalent tropical cyclone. On the 25th of May, the cyclone grew into a very strong and more severe storm. On 26th May, Cyclone Yaas, with its peak intensity, crossed the Odisha coast about 20km south of Balasore.

Before this, both states, Odisha and West Bengal were prepared at their best. The electrical companies prepared additional generators and backups for possible electrical problems. The people from low-level areas were evacuated, which includes East-Midnapore, West-Midnapore, Hooghly, North 24 Parganas, and south 24 Parganas, on 24th May 2021. Railway and marine activities were halted due to the approaching storm. People living in the coastal areas of Bangladesh were also evacuated to high-level places. Food and emergency funds were supplied to the evacuees. Cyclone Yaas caused server damage, in West Bengal, the total damage was approximately ₹20 crore and in Odisha, the damage was approximately ₹610 crores.

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Preparation of India

  • In India, the Union Power Ministry had prepared generators and transformers for a backup power outrage.
  • The Health Ministry ensured that there is no disturbance in the supply of vaccines and treatment for COVID-19.
  • The Ministry of Telecommunication ensures that the towers and exchange are under their watch.
  • The NDRF deployed 65 teams and another 20 teams on reserve. In five states, NDRF deployed 115 teams.
  •  The relief and rescue teams of the Indian Army, Navy, and coastal guards were also deployed in both the states, of Odisha and West Bengal.
  •  The Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC), ensured that there is no interference for major hospitals and critical establishments like drainage pumping stations.
  • On May 25, an Organe alert was issued by the IMD in Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Cuttack, Khorda, and Puri in Odisha, and a red alert was issued for Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, and Balasore.
  • The shipping activities in the port of Kolkata were suspended due to the threat of Cyclone Yaas. On 25 May, 265 boats returned to the port which was sailing in the Bay of Bengal.
  • More than 6 lakh individuals were moved to disaster shelters, which were provided by the authorities.

FAQs related to Cyclone Yaas

1. What is the meaning of Cyclone Yaas?
Ans. Cyclone Yaas was a severe cyclonic storm that caused a lot of damage in Odisha and West Bengal in 2021.

2. Is Cyclone Yaas the 14th Cyclone to hit Odisha?
Ans. Cyclone Yaas was the 14th Cyclone to hit Odisha. It was a pre-monsoon Cyclone between April and May of 2021.

3. Where did Cyclone Yaas form?
Ans. Cyclone Yaas was first located about 655km to the north of Port Vila in Vanuatu. It was noticed by the United States Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).

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