Cyclone 'Yaas', packing winds of up to 130-145 kmph, whiplashed the country's eastern coasts on Wednesday, dumping heavy rain, damaging houses and farmlands, and leaving at least four persons dead – three in Odisha and one in Bengal — officials said.

Thick sheets of rain blurred the vast coastline, as the cyclone made landfall around 9 am near Dhamra port in Odisha, with surging waters swamping the mud-and-thatch houses in the low-lying areas, where a massive evacuation drive has been undertaken to move more than 20 lakh people to safety.

At least one crore people were affected and three lakh houses damaged in West Bengal due to the rough weather conditions arising out of cyclone 'Yaas', Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Wednesday.

Odisha shifted 5.8 lakh people to safer places, while West Bengal moved 15 lakh people ahead of the cyclone, amid concerns over following COVID-19 norms at the temporary shelters as the two states battled the pandemic, reporting thousands of new cases daily.

One person died ''accidentally'' when he had gone out fishing, she said.Cautioning people that high tide in seas, caused by the storm surge, would persist, Banerjee claimed that Bengal happens to be the ''most-affected state''.

Cyclone 'Yaas' made its landfall on Wednesday morning near Dhamra port in Odisha, at 130-140 kmph, gusting to 155 kmph, according to Doppler radar data.

The chief minister further said that as many as 15,04,506 people have been evacuated from the vulnerable areas in the state and moved to safer places.

''I will soon be undertaking an aerial survey of the affected areas in Purba Medinipur, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas districts,'' Banerjee said.

As of now, the government has a preliminary idea of the damage caused, from the reports provided by the district magistrates and other senior officials, the CM said.

''We will be conducting field surveys to get a final estimate… It will take us at least 72 hours to get a clearer idea,'' she added.


Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday announced seven days' relief for the affected families.

He also directed officials to ensure that all major roads affected by the cyclone be repaired and 80 per cent of electricity supply in affected districts be restored within the next 24 hours.

Patnaik made the announcement after reviewing the situation created in the aftermath of the cyclone which is still active in the district of Mayurbnajh and is likely to leave the state by midnight.

Official sources said that most of the marooned villages were in Balasore and Bhadrak districts which bore the brunt of the cyclone.

Some of the affected villages witnessed the rushing of saline water due to tidal surge, while others are flooded because of the downpour.

The people of those 128 villages will be provided with cooked food or cooking materials and dry food for seven days.

Local panchayat bodies and block level officials will make the arrangements for it, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said.

''The road communication to these villages remained cut off because water is still running on roads connecting them,'' Jena said.Of the 605 roads of works and rural development departments, repairing is being done in 495 while work for the remaining ones will be completed within 24 hours, he said.

The power restoration work has started in Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Jajpur districts which will be completed soon. In Balasore and Bhadrak, it will also be taken up on a war footing to meet the deadline, the SRC said.

Patnaik thanked doctors and health workers for their service in the affected districts during the cyclone which hit the coast north of Dhamra in Bhadrak district and 50 km south of Balasore, close to Bahanaga block, around 9 am.

The chief minister congratulated all panchayat representatives, district administrations, community organisations and the police for their excellent work in evacuating people from vulnerable pockets to safer places.

Patnaik also asked officials to undertake health check-up of over 6.5 lakh people who were taken to cyclone shelters and test samples of suspected Covid-19 patients.

Local sources said that a person was killed in Panchupalli village in Anadapur block of Kenojhar district after a tree fell on him but there was no official confirmation of the death. The man was identified as Purna Chandra Nayak.

Besides, a man was injured in the Balasore district after he was hit by a falling tree, Jena said.

The sea will remain rough till Thursday and the accompanying rain will continue, he said.

The wind will slow down by the evening and the cyclone is likely to leave Odisha for Jharkhand by midnight, Jena said.

Andhra Pradesh

In view of the severe cyclonic storm Yaas crossing the coastal parts of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) on Wednesday issued a squally wind warning to three north coastal districts namely Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, and Vishakhapatnam. As per the SDMA release, squally wind speed reaching 50-60 km per hour, gusting to 70 km per hour, would prevail over Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, and Vishakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh till May 26 noon.

It has also advised the fishermen not to venture into the sea. "The fishermen are advised not to venture into the central Bay of Bengal till May 26 afternoon and into the north Bay of Bengal and along and off north Odisha-West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts till May 27 morning," the SDMA said.