Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit cyclone-ravaged West Bengal and Odisha on Friday. He will conduct an aerial survey to assess the damage caused by Cyclone Yaas, that has claimed four lives so far.
Packing winds gusting to 145 kmph, Cyclone Yaas whiplashed parts of Indias eastern coast on Wednesday, leaving behind a trail of damaged homes and flooded farmland, forcing more than 21 lakh people to be evacuated to safe shelters in the states of West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand.
The prime minister will first land in Bhubaneswar and hold a review meeting. Thereafter, he will proceed for an aerial survey in the affected areas of Balasore, Bhadrak and Purba Medinipur. Later, he will take part in a review meeting in West Bengal.
The cyclone made landfall around 9 am near Dhamra port in Odisha on Wednesday, with surging waters sweeping beached fishing boats inland and swamping the mud-and-thatch houses and farmlands in low-lying areas. Yaas is the second cyclonic storm to hit India within a week after Tauktae tore into its western coast, causing death and destruction. Modi had also conducted an aerial survey of areas that were affected by Cyclone Tauktae in Gujarat and neighbouring Union Territory of Diu.
Meanwhile, at least eight lakh people in Jharkhand have also been affected by Cyclone 'Yaas', which barrelled through the state early on Thursday, unleashing copious rain that lashed parts of the state, including Ranchi, and throwing life out of gear in many areas.
Around 15,000 people have been evacuated and moved to safety, and rescue operations are still underway in East Singhbhum district among other places, as water level in several rivers, including Kharkhai and Subarnarekha, continues to flow above the danger mark.