Rescue and clean-up operations underway in cyclone-hit Odisha, West Bengal
RESCUE operations are underway in Odisha and West Bengal and teams are clearing scores of utility poles and uprooted trees to keep roads open in those states that were hit by Cyclone Yaas on Wednesday, said an official from the National Disaster Response Force. The cyclone finished landing around noon, packing high winds and heavy rain along the Odisha coast and neighboring areas of West Bengal. “He (Yaas) is very likely to move northwest through inner Odisha and gradually weaken,” a spokesperson for the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said. He said the force evacuated thousands of people to safer locations in close coordination with local governments in both states. “Rescue operations are still continuing as a large number of trees and utility poles are uprooted after the cyclone hits the ground,” the spokesperson said.
“Teams are taking them off the roads to keep the lines of communication clear and this process is still ongoing. Rescuers are making every effort to restore normalcy to the affected areas, ”he said. A total of 113 teams were deployed by the Federal Contingency Force to the two states and adjacent areas to initiate relief and rescue operations following the cyclone. “When the cyclone hit, the rains in the area caused flooding in low areas. Many trapped people were rescued by the NDRF, including a baby with three family members after their home collapsed due to heavy rains in Odisha, ”the spokesperson said. He added that hundreds of stranded people had also been rescued in West Bengal. Three people were saved from drowning, the spokesperson said.
The force urges people to restrict their movement until the situation becomes normal and take appropriate precautionary measures when returning home, he said. The cyclone that hit the coast north of Dhamra in Bhadrak district and 50 km south of Balasore, near Bahanaga block, around 9 a.m. also washed away the roofs of many kutcha houses in the districts. .