With Cyclone Yaas predicted to make landfall on the eastern coast on May 26 and likely to hit parts of Odisha and West Bengal, the Indian Navy on Tuesday said it has ramped up rescue and relief operations to minimise damages.
"INS Netaji Subhas is spearheading the Indian Naval''s relief effort at West Bengal and is in close coordination with the State Government of West Bengal for preparations for Cyclone Yaas, which is scheduled to make landfall between Odisha and West Bengal coast on May 26", informed an official release by the Indian Navy.
As part of the preparation, two Navy Diving Teams and five flood relief teams, comprising of specialized Navy personnel with associated equipment and inflatable boats, have been deployed.
One diving and two flood relief teams each, have been positioned at Digha and Frazerganj, both in West Bengal on May 23 and May 24 respectively.
One flood relief team has been kept on standby at Diamond Harbour, for redeployment as necessary, at short notice. These teams are equipped to undertake casualty evacuation of stranded/ marooned personal, road clearing/ tree cutting operations, and distribution of relief material, as would be required by the local district administration.
In addition, the Indian Navy is also positioning Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) material for about 500 people at its depot Centre at Kolkata, for subsequent distribution if required, in the aftermath of the Cyclone. Four Indian Navy Ships, loaded with HADR material, medical teams and additional diving teams, would also closely follow the Cyclone and be available for rendering further assistance.
Naval Helicopters from onboard the INS ships, Medium-Range Maritime Patrol (MRMP) aircraft at Visakhapatnam as well as Long Range Maritime Patrol (LRMP) aircraft at Arrakkonam (Tamil Nadu) are also standby for deployment at short notice in the aftermath of the Cyclone for casualty evacuation, aerial survey and airdrop of relief material, based on requests from the State Government, as required.
Meanwhile, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) today predicted that the cyclonic storm Yaas is going to intensity into a ''very severe cyclonic storm'' in the next 12 hours.
"The severe cyclonic storm Yaas over east-central Bay of Bengal moved north-northwestwards with a speed of about 9 kmph during past six hours and lay centred at 9 UTC of May 24 over east-central Bay of Bengal," IMD said in its bulletin.
"It is very likely to move north-northwestwards, intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during next 12 hours. It would continue to move north-northwestwards, intensify further and reach northwest Bay of Bengal near North Odisha and West Bengal coasts by May 26 early morning," the weather agency said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the people living in the coastal regions of Odisha to cooperate with the local administration and shift to cyclone shelters. Addressing the people of the state yesterday, the CM also asked them to adhere to Covid-19 protocols and wear two masks. (ANI)