People in Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand woke up to strong winds and heavy rain on Wednesday morning and braced for the cyclone.
The IMD had earlier informed that the cyclone is very likely to reach near north Odisha coast close to Bhadrak's Dhamra port by the early morning of 26 May.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the people living in the coastal regions of Odisha to cooperate with the local administration and shift to cyclone shelters.
Over 1.15 million (11.5 lakh) people were evacuated from vulnerable places in West Bengal ahead of the cyclone, chief minister Mamata Banerjee informed on Tuesday, adding that she will stay at the state secretariat 'Nabanna' on 25 and 26 May to monitor the cyclonic situation and relief work.
In a special bulletin, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) said very severe cyclonic storm Yaas was centred at 6:00 am today (Wednesday) about 515 Km west of Chattogram port, 510 Km west of Cox’s Bazar port, 305 west-southwest of Mongla port and 350 km west-southwest of Payra port.
It is likely to move north-northwestwards further and may cross north Odisha-West Bengal coast between Paradeep and Sagar island of India by noon today, the bulleting added.
Maximum sustained wind speed within 84 km of the very severe cyclone centre is about 130 km per hour rising to 150 km per hour is gusts. Sea will remain very high near the very severe cyclonic storm. Maritime ports of Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Mongla and Payra have been advised to keep hoisted local cautionary signal no. 3.
Under the influence of the very severe cyclone, coastal districts of Khulna, Bagerhat, Satkhira, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Bhola, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Barguna, Chandpur, and Chattogram and their offshore islands and chars are likely to experience wind speed up to 80-100 in gusts with heavy to very heavy falls during the passage of the storm.
Under the influence of the very severe cyclone and full moon phase, the low-lying areas of the districts of Khulna, Bagerhat, Satkhira, Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Barguna, Patuakhali, Barishal, Bhola, Noakhali, Lakshmipur, Barguna, Chandpur, and Chattogram and their offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated 3-6 feet height above normal astronomical tide.
Under the influence of the very severe cyclone, low-lying areas of Khulna, Satkhira, Pirojpur, Barguna and Patuakhali have already been inundated by the tidewater. Dublar Char and other dwelling places of the fishermen in Sundarbans have already been inundated.
Prothom Alo’s Barguna correspondent said around 11:00 pm on Tuesday that wind is blowing at a high speed over the villages of Boroitola, Dalbhanga, Latabaria, Machhkhali, Paschim Golbunia villages adjacent to Bishkhali river, some 10km away of Barguna sadar upazila. It is raining sporadically in the area.
Correspondents from other coastal districts said river embankments in Shyamnagar of Satkhira and Koyra of Khulna were already damaged due to previous storms. Tidewater has started entering the locality and shrimp enclosures on Tuesday. The tide is rising. Trees have been uprooted in many areas due to the stormy wind. People have been trying to move to safer place in the areas.
In Shyamnagar, tidewater has increased by about 3 feet around 11:00 pm on Tuesday. Water is entering the locality and fish enclosures through Nebubunia, Napitkhali, Gagramari and Jelekhali areas of Kapotakkha river in Gabura union. The locality of Munshiganj union also became inundated as water of Chunkuri river entered through Sinhatali area. In the same way, Kapotakkha river water has started entering the locality through Kurikaunia area in Pratapnagar union.
Local people with the help of Water Development Board officials have been working to strengthening and heightening the embankments with sand-filled geo bags from the small hours today.
Water Development Board’s Shymnagar branch official Masud Rana said around 210 villagers worked in unison to stop the entering of tidewater in Sinhatali area Tuesday night. They were thinking of strengthening the embankments from this morning.
Shyamnagar upazila chairman Ataul Haque said nothing severe happened in the upazila as of Wednesday morning due to stormy weather or astronomical tide. But he acknowledged that 43 points of embankment constructed by the Water Development Board in Gabura, Buri Goalini, Munshiganj, Koikhali, Ramjannagar, Kashimbari and Padmapukur are in critical condition. They have been working to strengthen the points, he added.