Ahead of the predicted May 26 landfall of cyclone Yaas in coastal areas of Odisha, the state on Tuesday issued a red alert warning for Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur and Balasore districts, which are likely to be affected by heavy rainfall. Umashankar Das, Deputy Director of India Meteorological Department (IMD) in Bhubaneswar said, "A red alert, i.e. extremely heavy rainfall warning has been issued for Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, and Balasore for today. The rainfall will exceed more than 20 cm."
The official said that an orange alert, i.e. heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected in Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Cuttack, Khorda, and Puri today. "The rainfall in the district is expected to measure between 12-20 cm," Das said.
The IMD regional Deputy Director further said, "We are expecting wind speeds of 150-160 kmph gusting 180kmph over Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore tomorrow as landfall is expected by noon. We have issued the highest danger warning for Dhamra and Paradip ports."
Meanwhile, people have been evacuated by the Balasore district administration and Marine Police Force in the Chandipur area, ahead of the cyclonic storm Yaas.
"We are focusing on the evacuation of people from low-lying areas. 1,200 centers to be used as shelters have been sanitized due to the COVID-19 situation. We have health teams deployed at these centers. Power restoration and road clearance teams deployed," District of Collector Balasore K Sudarshan Chakravarthy said.
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik has directed the state's home minister to reach Balasore today and remain there to monitor the situation. It has been predicted that the cyclonic storm Yaas is going to intensity into a 'very severe cyclonic storm' in the next 12 hours.
Cyclone Yaas is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar Island around Balasore, during noon of May 26 as a 'Very Severe Cyclonic Storm'.
(With ANI inputs)