Cyclone Yaas

Cyclone Yaas wreaks havoc in coastal West Bengal, affecting more than one crore people

Published : May 26, 2021 21:23 IST

In a village in South 24 Parganas, residents leave their house that faces the threat of submergence because of heavy rain after Cyclone Yaas made landfall, on May 26. Photo: PTI

Cyclone Yaas, which made its landfall in Odisha as a very severe cyclone, wreaked havoc in the coastal belt of Bengal, affecting more than one crore people in the State, and, according to preliminary estimates, damaging around three lakh houses.

Cyclone Yaas, which made its landfall in Odisha as a very severe cyclone, wreaked havoc in the coastal belt of Bengal, affecting more than one crore people in the State, and, according to preliminary estimates, damaging around three lakh houses. According to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the full-moon tide made the situation worse. “The full-moon tide has caused the rivers to go in spate and increased the intensity of the tide at sea. Many of our embankments have been breached and many villages have been flooded. I will request those in shelters to not immediately return home,” said Mamata, adding that the full extent of the damage caused by the cyclone will be ascertained in a few days.

According to the State government 15,04,506 people have been evacuated from danger zones and put in around 14,000 relief camps. “There has been one unfortunate death, when a person who was taken to a relief camp still went out to catch fish and was drowned,” said Mamata. With saline water entering agricultural fields, the government fears extensive damage to crops. Purba Medinipur, and North and South 24 Parganas faced the brunt of the cyclone as it passed through the State. The worst affected regions in the districts include Digha, Shankarpur, Tajpur, Ramnagar, Contai, Nandigram, Sutahata, Mahishadal, Kolaghat and Deshapran in Purba Medinipur; Sandeshkahli, Hingalganj, Hasnabad, Haroa in North 24 Parganas; Patharpratima, Namkhana, , Gosaba, Kulpi, Fraserganj, Basanti, Canning and Budge Budge in South 24 Parganas; and Bagnan, Uluberia and Sankrail in Howrah. There has been flooding in the low-lying parts of Kolkata as well, particularly in Kalighat, Chetla, and Rashbehari.

The impact of the very severe cyclone in the coastal regions of Digha brought back to memory terrifying scenes witnessed a year ago when Supercyclone Amphan crashed into Bengal’s coastline. This time, too, seawater gushed forth inland destroying houses, washing away shops and shacks and entering hotel buildings near the seafront. Roofs of resorts were blown off, trees uprooted and massive waves swept over the region.

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