Tornadoes Wreak Havoc in Bengal Hours Before Yaas Landfall; 2 Killed, 11L Evacuated

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In the wake of cyclone Yaas, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said nearly 11 lakh people were evacuated from coastal districts in the state and sent to safe shelters.

She also urged people not to panic and advised against stepping out on Wednesday unless absolutely necessary.

“Please don’t venture out unless it is very urgent during the cyclone. Today, we have witnessed a couple of mini tornados at Bandel (Hooghly) and in Bijpur (North 24 Parganas). More than 40 houses were partially damaged and two people killed in Pandua due to lightning. We are getting information that a few people were also injured,” she said during a press briefing.

“Nearly 11 lakh people living in the coastal districts were evacuated to shelter houses at various places. There may be a possibility that the landfall could happen at Sagar Island in South 24 Parganas,” she added.

The chief minister also expressed condolences after two people lost their lives in a lightning strike in Pandua in Hooghly district.

Meanwhile, in the evening, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar went to the cyclone control room at state secretariat Nabanna and met Banerjee to discuss the preparedness to handle the cyclone.

Later, Dhankhar tweeted, “Have spoken to Chief Minister @MamataOfficial as regards update #CycloneYaas. At Control Room #CycloneYaas with Chief Minister @MamataOfficial and official. Had useful briefing and interaction.”

It has been learnt that Banerjee will be stationed at the control room from tonight and will remain there till tomorrow.

No possibility of an Amphan-like situation

Meanwhile, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in Kolkata claimed there is no possibility of an Amphan-like situation in Kolkata during the landfall of cyclone ‘Yaas’. Last year around the same time, Cyclone Amphan had ravaged the state, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

The IMD said Kolkata will experience maximum wind speed of 65-75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph during landfall on Wednesday.

As per the latest IMD report, cyclone ‘Yaas’ will reach Northwest Bay of Bengal near north Odisha and West Bengal coasts very close to Chandbali-Dhamra port by early Wednesday morning.

It is very likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar Island close to North of Dhamra and south of Balasore in Odisha during Wednesday noon in the form of a very severe cyclonic storm.

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