INDIA. New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Odisha and West Bengal on Friday to review the impact of cyclone “Yaas” which pounded parts of India’s eastern coast, killing at least six people and forcing the evacuation of over 21 lakh people to safe shelters in West Bengal, Odisha, and Jharkhand.
Four people were killed as several coastal towns of north Odisha and neighboring West Bengal were pounded by the severe cyclonic storm after it made landfall in Odisha on Wednesday. While three died in Odisha, one person died in West Bengal and two people died in Jharkhand. An estimated three lakh houses suffered damage in West Bengal.
While widespread rainfall is predicted on Friday, in North West and Central Bihar, including Patna, Jharkhand remains on high alert where about 15,000 people have been evacuated to safer zones. Nearly eight lakh people have been affected by the storm in Jharkhand. Two people died in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi as their house collapsed amid incessant rainfall under the impact of a cyclone. A major bridge on river Kanchi that connects Bundu with Tamar near Ranchi also collapsed following torrential rains, official sources said.
Air and rail traffic affected in Bihar
Air and rail traffic was affected on account of the cyclone in Bihar which received moderate to heavy rains on Thursday. Flight operations were suspended at the Patna airport in the evening after the city was lashed by a downpour, an aviation official said adding that the resumption would take place only after the situation is reviewed. The East Central Railway (ECR) zone headquartered at Hajipur said in a release that several inter-state special trains were cancelled given the weather disturbances because of the cyclone.
Indian Navy’s 7 teams at forefront of relief activities
Seven teams of the Indian Navy comprising two diving and five flood relief teams (FRT) have remained at the forefront of relief activities that are being conducted in West Bengal after the cyclone hit the state’s coastal areas, the defence ministry said on Thursday.
The relief control centre at the Indian naval ship “Netaji Subhas”, in coordination with the West Bengal government, has concentrated their relief and rescue operations in Digha and Fraserganj, the two highly inundated low-lying coastal areas. The Indian Navy’s team at Fraserganj was deployed to Narayanpur village, about 30 km away, for rescue and relief operations despite heavy rains and inclement weather. The Navy’s team at Digha operated in villages in the vicinity of Digha and undertook road clearing operations and distributed aid to the needy, the defence ministry said.
Besides the Indian Navy team has been deployed from INS Chilka under the aegis of Naval Officer-in-Charge, Odisha. The team has already commenced relief work for the personnel in distress. A quick reaction medical team has also been kept on standby for deployment at the site for people requiring immediate health check-ups. Four Naval ships carrying Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) material entered Damra port on Thursday to provide necessary relief to the affected populace of Badrak District.
Also the National Disaster Response Force(NDRF) has deployed 113 teams in five states and a Union Territories as part of its preparation and response to the cyclonic storm- the highest ever such deployment in the rescue operation. These teams have been deployed in West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Andaman and Nicobar Island.
Over the years, India has been hit by various cyclones including Fani, Amphan, Vayu, Nisarga, among others. ‘Yaas’ is the second cyclonic storm to hit India within a week after “Tauktae” tore into Western Coast causing death and destruction.