Cyclone 'Yaas': 700 people in Bengal's East Midnapore rescued by Army

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Kolkata, May 26 (PTI) The Indian Army rescued around 700 people marooned at different places in West Bengal's East Midnapore district, which bore the brunt of cyclone 'Yaas', as large tracts of land in coastal areas of the state were inundated in a storm surge, a Defence official said.

Stranded people were also rescued from places submerged in the storm surge in South 24 Parganas and Howrah, he said.

The Army, which has deployed 17 cyclone-relief columns, comprising specialised personnel with equipment and inflatable boats for rescue operations in West Bengal, brought to safety marooned people in Digha and Talgachari in East Midnapore and at Orphuli in Howrah among other places, the official said.

The Indian Coast Guard has also deployed its ships and hovercraft after the cyclone made its landfall in neighbouring Odisha on Wednesday morning.

'Three Coast Guard ships along with onboard helicopter, which were on an operational mission in the Bay of Bengal, have been diverted to coastal areas of West Bengal and Odisha with the fastest speed to assess the situation in the area and render appropriate assistance to any mariner in distress,' the ICG said.

They will be joined by two more ships of the ICG to augment efforts in the sea.

Coast Guard Dornier aircraft will be carrying out an aerial recce of the affected areas after improvement of weather, it said in a statement.

ICG hovercraft with state government officials have been deployed for the rescue of the local people from islands near Haldia.

Inflatable boats with rescue gear and divers have been dispatched to Contai and Digha area to augment rescue efforts there, it said.

Several roads adjoining the sea beaches in Digha in East Midnapore district were inundated, with some people seen wading through chest-deep water, as the tourist town and its adjoining places bore the brunt of cyclone 'Yaas'.

Many areas in Purba Medinipur and South 24 Parganas were whiplashed by heavy rain, which accompanied the cyclonic storm. PTI AMR BDC BDC