The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that Cyclone Yaas, which is likely to make landfall on Wednesday afternoon would spare Kolkata and have less impact on the coastal Bengal, unlike last year’s Amphan which had hit South 24 Parganas and continued its devastation in Kolkata. The Met Dept said the Balasore coast in Odisha, around 240 km away from Kolkata will get the worst impact of the cyclone.
“In this case, Yaas would not even touch Bengal, so far, we have gathered information. It would hit Odisha,” said the Met official.
Mamata Banerjee cries ‘discrimination’ over advance relief fund
Despite this explicit information provided by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), West Bengal CM has latched on to the opportunity to once again play the victim and cast aspersions on the Modi government. She has already started claiming that the central government is showing discrimination towards West Bengal over the advance relief compensation for Cyclone Yaas.
While addressing a press conference, Mamata Banerjee said: “MHA assured an advance relief of Rs 600 crores to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh but only Rs 400 crores to West Bengal. This is discriminatory.”
MHA assured an advance relief of Rs 600 crores to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh but only Rs 400 crores to West Bengal. This is discriminatory: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee#CycloneYaas pic.twitter.com/tl1vcXGJUT— ANI (@ANI) May 24, 2021
Mamata Banerjee’s similar shenanigans during last year’s Amphan
Interestingly, during last year’s Amaphan, despite PM Modi clearly announcing advanced interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore for the cyclone-hit West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee had alleged that there was no clarity on the economic assistance provided by the central government.
It is also notable here that the TMC government’s Amphan relief saw massive allegations of corruption and party cadre were given compensation for cyclone damage. The reports of undeserving candidates receiving compensation for cyclone relief just because of their association with TMC had caused a major embarrassment for the Mamata government last year.
IMD specifies the impact of cyclone Yaas would not be as severe on WB as Odisha
Here it becomes imperative to restate that the Indian Meteorological Department has clearly stated that the impact of the tropical cyclone Yaas would not be that severe on West Bengal as it would be on Odisha. It said that mainly the coastal districts of Bengal, along with Gangetic Bengal, would get heavy to very heavy rainfalls because of the cyclone.
Significance of colour-coded warnings by IMD
While the Met Dept has issued a red alert in 8 districts of Odisha, around 20 districts in West Bengal have been declared orange zone by the Met office.
For the uninitiated, the Met department has four colour-coded warnings that it flashes depending on how intense or violent a weather system is at a given point in time. The four colours are green, yellow, orange and red.
Orange: Meaning “Be prepared”. The IMD issues the orange alert as a warning for extremely bad weather, electricity blackouts and the possibility of communication disruptions, including road and rail closures.
Red: The IMD issues the highest level of warning—indicating that bad weather is going to upend travel and power and pose a significant risk to life.
Home Ministery prepares for the approaching Cyclone Yaas
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had chaired a review meeting with chief ministers of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and lieutenant governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands to discuss the preparedness for very severe cyclone Yaas.
Reviewed the preparedness to tackle the situation arising out of Cyclone Yaas, which is forming in the Bay of Bengal.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) May 24, 2021
• Timely evacuation of people.
• Adequate power backup arrangements in all hospitals.
• Ensure the safety of oxygen generation plants.https://t.co/6g5sY1pTjy pic.twitter.com/yWQxxXmw7a
During the video conference, Amit Shah evaluated the situation and allotted Rs 600 crore each for Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and Rs 400 crore for West Bengal.
As part of the preparations in view of Cyclone Yaas, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), functioning under the Ministry of Home Affairs, has deployed more than 100 teams in six states, including Odisha and West Bengal. Moreover, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has also kept 11 transport aircraft and 25 helicopters ready to carry out humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations as part of preparations to deal with the situation arising out of Cyclone Yaas.