Yaas: IMD reports new cyclone formation at Bay of Bengal

Yaas: IMD reports new cyclone formation at Bay of Bengal

Top state officials Wednesday met district administrations along the coastal belt, alerting them on a cyclonic storm developing over gangetic West Bengal and likely to make landfall over the next two to three days.

Officials at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday afternoon said that a low-pressure system could take birth within the next 48 hours and it holds the potential to intensify into a cyclone. This system will develop close to the north Andaman Sea around May 22 and reach either Odisha or West Bengal by the evening of May 26.

If realised, this storm will be the second to form in 2021 and the first over the Bay of Bengal this year. Once the cyclone forms, it will acquire the name Yaas, given by Oman.

The state meteorological department has already put an alert saying, “A low pressure area is very likely to form over (the) North Andaman Sea and adjoining East Central Bay of Bengal around 22nd May, 2021. It is very likely to intensify gradually into a Cyclonic Storm during the subsequent 72 hours. It is very likely to move northwest-wards and reach West Bengal – Odisha coasts around 26th May, 2021 evening.”

The Met office further said, “Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy falls at isolated places very likely to commence in the coastal districts of West Bengal from 25th evening with significant increase in spatial extension and intensity subsequently over the districts of Gangetic West Bengal. Squally wind speed reaching 45–55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is likely to prevail over Andaman Sea & adjoining East-central Bay of Bengal on 23rd May. It is very likely to increase becoming 50–60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph from 23rd May and further becoming Gale wind speed during 24th – 26th May over major parts of central Bay of Bengal and into North Bay of Bengal and along & off Odisha – West Bengal – Bangladesh coasts during 25th – 27th May.”

The weather report further said conditions will be “rough to very rough over Andaman Sea & adjoining East Central Bay of Bengal on 23rd May, high to very high over major parts of Central Bay of Bengal during 24th – 26th May and into North Bay of Bengal and along & off Odisha – West Bengal coasts during 25th – 27th May”.

With the sea conditions turning rough in the coming days, the fishermen have been warned against venturing into the sea from May 21 onwards. Those at sea are advised to return to safety before May 23.

The state government has already directed district administrations to haul back all the trawlers that have already gone to sea for fishing. It has also sought heightened vigilance on the situation at Hingalgunj and Sandeshkhali sub-divisions. Leaves of employees in the concerned government departments have been cancelled.

Even though there is a storm brewing close by, ocean and atmospheric conditions are favourable for the advancement of the Southwest monsoon over the south Andaman Sea on May 21, the IMD said.

“In association with the strengthening and deepening of south-westerly winds over the region, the Southwest monsoon is likely to advance over the south Andaman Sea and adjoining areas of the Bay of Bengal. Other atmospheric and ocean factors in addition to the sea surface temperatures are favourable for convection,” the IMD’s latest update, read.

After severe cyclonic storm Tauktae in the west coast, another cyclone named Yaas is likely to hit the east coast on May 26, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday.

A low pressure area is very likely to form over north Andaman Sea and adjoining east-central Bay of Bengal around May 22, it said. It is likely to intensify gradually into a cyclonic storm in the subsequent 72 hours, the IMD added.

Under the influence of the system, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam and Meghalaya are likely to receive light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy falls at isolated places from evening of May 25, the weather department said.

Here's the latest on Cyclone Yaas:

IMD officials said they cannot rule out the possibility that Yaas will intensify like Amphan. “We cannot rule out an Amphan-like intensification. The only good thing is that models as of now are showing that the system is moving very fast over the sea. Its intensification will be restricted if its time over sea is less,” Sunitha Devi, who tracks cyclones at IMD, told HT.

Officials in Odisha have started making preparations for the cyclone. Odisha Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep K Jena on Wednesday held a preparatory meeting with the collectors of 10 coastal districts along with SPs, fire department officers and emergency officials.
He directed district authorities to identify the shelters, check facilities and infrastructure and deploy staff and to prepare an evacuation plan.

"There is no confirmed information that the cyclone will make landfall on the Odisha coast. We have received some preliminary reports from IMD which predicted a possible cyclonic storm in Odisha-West Bengal coast on May 26," Jena told reporters after the meeting.

In West Bengal, chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday directed senior government officials to make all the necessary arrangements. She chaired a virtual meeting, where Banerjee directed officers to 
arrange for adequate stock of medicines, drinking water, dry food and tarpaulins.

Warning that sea conditions are likely to be rough to very rough, the Met Department advised fishermen not to venture into the Bay of Bengal from May 24.

The IMD said that the west coast, especially the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, are still assessing the damage done by extremely severe cyclonic storm Tauktae. The Navy on Thursday morning launched a fresh aerial search and rescue mission, deploying helicopters to scour the waters off Mumbai coast, where the accommodation barge P305 went adrift in Cyclone Tauktae fury before it sank on Monday.

As many as 26 personnel on board the barge are dead and 49 still missing. The navy said that it has so far rescued 186 of the 261 people who were on board the barge P305.
The pre-monsoon months of April and May usually witness formation of cyclones on the eastern as well as the western coast.

May 2020 saw two cyclones - super cyclonic storm Amphan and severe cyclonic storm Nisarga - which hit the eastern and western coast, respectively.

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