Bhubaneswar: Very severe cyclonic storm ‘Yaas’ weakened Wednesday evening after causing havoc in the coastal districts of north Odisha. Heavy rainfall coupled with wind speeds of 130-145kmph lashed several districts as ‘Yaas’ made its landfall between Dhamra and Balasore. Only two persons lost their lives (for reasons other than ‘Yaas’), even though infrastructure suffered damages due to the fury of the storm. However, even then it can be stated that ‘Yaas’ did not cause the amount of damage that was expected.
‘Yaas’ hit the coast north of Dhamra in Bhadrak district and 50km south of Balasore, close to Bahanaga block, around 9.00am Wednesday morning. The landfall process was over around 1.30pm, IMD DG, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra informed. After causing damages in the two coastal districts, the cyclone has entered Mayurbhanj and will weaken into a deep depression before moving into Jharkhand, he added.
The maximum sustained wind speed associated with the cyclone during the landfall was 130-140kmph and at times it went up to 150kmph, Mohapatra informed.
Trees, branches, thatched and tin roofs were seen flying while tidal waves surged at a height of two to four metres. As a result, seawater entered several villages in Bahanaga and Remuna blocks of Balasore district, and Dhamra and Basudevpur in Bhadrak district, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena informed. The administration with the help of the locals is taking measures to drain out the saline water from the villages, he said.
Jena informed that the telecommunication sector did not suffer any major damages. However, at a number of places, electric poles were uprooted leading to power disruption. Work is on to restore power at the earliest, Jena said. He informed that forests in both Balasore and Bhadrak districts have been hit hard as a large number of trees were uprooted due to the cyclone’s ferocity. “The total losses suffered can only be assessed only after the weather conditions improve,” said Jena.
Personnel from the Army, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and state police and civil defence volunteers were working round-the-clock for restoration of normalcy in the districts.
Restoration of power lines have started in some places in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur districts, Jena stated. He assured that power supply in these districts will be restored by Thursday. Power in Bhadrak town will be restored Wednesday itself. Out of the 305 major roads, 295 have been opened for traffic. Undisrupted water supply has been ensured in all the affected areas, the SRC said.
The two deaths were reported from Keonjhar and Balasore districts. Purna Chandra Nayak of Panchupalli village in Anadapur block of Kenojhar district died after a tree fell on him. The death in Balasore district occurred when a man left the cyclone shelter and tried to reach his home on a bike. En route a tree fell on him that led to his death.