Relief and restoration operations underway as Cyclone Yaas leaves trail of destruction in Odisha, West Bengal

Odisha Government has ordered early restoration of normalcy in the area hit by the Cyclonic storm Yaas yesterday. After reviewing the extent of damage in the North Odisha districts last evening in capital Bhubaneswar, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ordered restoration of at least 80 per cent electricity supply and road communication in the cyclone hit areas within 24 hours. He has also declared seven days relief to the people of 128 villages marooned by flash floods in the coastal districts like Bhadrak and Balasore.

AIR correspondent reports that Cyclone Yaas after lashing north Odisha with downpour and devastating winds with a speed up to 140 kilometres per hour, rescue relief and restoration teams have swung into action for early resumption of power and road clearance. Though the oceanic disaster did not cause much of a harm to electricity supply lines and telecom network, its damaging potential is evident in extensive inundation of low lying areas and massive destruction of trees especially in Bhadrak, Baleshwar and Mayurbhanj districts.

While a whopping six lakh fifty thousand people had been evacuated to safe shelters, thereby saving precious lives, two deaths have been reported one each from Baleshwar and Keonjhar district. Meanwhile, the Biju Patnaik International Airport in capital Bhubaneswar has resumed service from last evening after being shut for less than 24 hours, as part of cyclone preparedness.

In West Bengal, Administration is making assessments of the damage caused by the impact of the severe cyclone Yaas which made landfall. Extremely high tidal waves and stormy wind along with heavy to very heavy rainfall flooded low lying and coastal areas and also submerged nearby villages and towns in several districts of Bengal.

At several places, disaster management teams rescued people who were stranded due to sudden rush of water, either by breaking the embankments or overflowing the guardwalls. Agricultural land has been extensively damaged due to inflow of saline water in the fields.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata that at least 1 crore people have been affected and three lakh houses damaged due to rough weather conditions arising out of the cyclone. 134 river embankments along the coastal districts have either broken or been damaged by its impact. The Chief Minister will visit the affected areas of North and South 24 Parganas and East Medinipur on 28th and 29th of May.

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