Bhubaneswar: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) Friday said a low pressure area, which may give birth to cyclone ‘Yaas’ will take shape in the Bay of Bengal Saturday.
A cyclonic circulation lies over southeast and adjoining central Bay of Bengal between 3.1 km & 5.8 km above mean sea level. Under its influence, a low-pressure area is very likely to form over east-central Bay of Bengal and adjoining north Andaman Sea May 22, the IMD said. The low-pressure system may intensify into depression May 23 and into a cyclone May 24. The cyclone is likely to make landfall between Odisha and West Bengal. The system is very likely to move north-westwards and reach Odisha-West Bengal coast around May 26 morning, the IMD said.
Apart from putting at least 14 districts on high alert in the wake of the IMD’s forecast, the state government Friday urged the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard to be prepared for the emerging situation.
Chief Secretary SC Mahapatra, after a meeting with senior officials, said that the state administration is geared up to meet the eventuality if cyclone ‘Yaas’ has any impact on the state.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena, who held a series of meetings on the matter, spoke to collectors of 14 districts, different line departments, power distribution companies, telecom providers, authorities of NDRF, ODRAF, Odisha police, state Fire Service and apprised them about their role during the crisis.
“The DIG of Indian Coast Guard has informed us that two of their flights and two ships are making rounds of the Bay of Bengal. They will rescue the fishermen if trapped anywhere in the sea,” Jena said.
So far 39 fishermen are in the deep sea and they are expected to return to the shore by Saturday morning, he added. He said the authorities of Indian Naval Ship Chilika and Indian Navy have been alerted and are in touch with the state government to meet the challenges posed by the possible calamity. Stating that five teams of NDRF have so far returned to Odisha from Gujarat, Jena said 17 NDRF teams, 20 battalions of ODRAF and 100 teams of Fire Service are in readiness for relief and rescue operation.
Besides, the forest department has been put on alert to ensure clearing of roads likely to be blocked by trees falling due to the possible cyclone. Power distribution companies and telecom providers are told to remain prepared to start restoration work as soon as the calamity is over. Adequate generators have been kept in ready condition to ensure uninterrupted drinking water supply. Jena said collectors have identified suitable pucca buildings to keep people in safe shelter.
Water Resources chief engineer Jyotirmay Ratha said a 24-hour control room will be established with the coordination of three departments—Rural Development, Works and Water Resources.
A toll-free number will also be issued for people so that they can sound their grievances and seek help in case of any emergency during and after the cyclone, said Ratha. Since the cyclone is taking place in the summer, there is little likelihood of any flood situation in the state, he claimed.
Police DG Abhay held a review meeting with officials of ODRAF and said the disaster management wing is fully prepared to face any exigency.