BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha government evacuated over five lakh people from low-lying and vulnerable areas of ten north coastal and adjoining districts where the cyclonic storm Yaas is expected to cause extensive damage.
The evacuation launched by the state government continued late into the night even as several areas of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts were inundated due to heavy rainfall and storm surge up to four feet.
People from the affected districts were shifted to over 7000 cyclone shelters.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said that the landfall process of the cyclone started around 9 am. The process will continue for three to four hours to complete. The landfall will be between North of Dhamra in Bhadrak district and south of Balasore close to coast off Bahanaga block in the district.
The SRC said that maximum impact will be in Balasore and Bhadrak districts. He said that wind speed will be about 100 kilometers per hour in Mayurbhanj district also.
The state government has also made massive deployment for rescue, restoration and relief measures in the areas to be affected by the cyclonic storm. The SRC said 52 NDRF, 60 ODRAF, 206 Fire Service and 86 wood cutting teams of Forest and Environment department, a total of 404 teams, have been pre-positioned in 10 coastal and adjoining districts for search, rescue and road clearance.
As Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj and Kendrapara will be the worst affected, large deployment have been in these four districts. The SRC said that 84 teams have been positioned in Balasore district while 45 teams are in Bhadrak. Besides, 47 and 30 teams have been deployed in Mayyrbhanj and Kendrapara districts respectively.