Amit Shah, the federal home minister, has directed state governments to ensure that hospitals, laboratories, vaccine cold stores, and other medical facilities have appropriate power backup.
According to the India Meteorological Department, Cyclone Yaas, which is equal to a category 3 hurricane, would bring torrential rains and high wind speeds to the eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha.
A severe storm is expected to hit India on Wednesday, the country’s second in less than two weeks, with authorities preparing rescue efforts at a time when the country is dealing with the world’s deadliest epidemic of Covid-19.
According to the India Meteorological Department, Cyclone Yaas, which is equal to a category 3 hurricane, would bring torrential rainfall to the eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha, with wind speeds of up to 185 kilometres (115 miles) per hour. According to the report, sea levels might rise 4 metres above normal tides, inundating low-lying regions.
The new storm follows a strong cyclone that pounded the west coast last week, killing scores after a barge sank in the sea, the worst in almost two decades in the western state of Gujarat. In May 2020, the eastern region was slammed by a storm with similar wind speeds, and officials were forced to evacuate millions of people in 2019.
The storm’s arrival coincides with a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, posing a number of hurdles for already overburdened authorities in the country. The infections have put a strain on India’s health system, with crematoriums and hospitals becoming overburdened. They’ve also spread to rural areas, which account for roughly 70% of the country’s 1.3 billion inhabitants.
Ports, refineries, and power stations were all put on high alert. According to a spokeswoman for Indian Oil Corp., the world’s largest refiner, it has halted crude oil unloading at Paradip in Odisha and ordered ships to sail 250 nautical miles away from the cyclone’s direction.
The National Weather Service encouraged fishermen to halt operations in the area and return to the coast as soon as possible. It stated in a statement that the storm might damage homes and roads, interrupt train travel, and disrupt electricity and telecommunication services.
Following a deadly tragedy last week, authorities are being cautious this time. Following typhoon Tauktae, which hit the west coast on May 17, the Indian Navy retrieved 70 dead when a barge and a tug boat belonging to the state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corp. capsized. The navy rescued 188 people, but some remain unaccounted for.