After Tauktae, India braces for cyclone Yaas
High tide waves due to the formation of cyclone Yaas in the Bay of Bengal, on Monday. (ANI Photo)4 min read . Updated: 24 May 2021, 09:10 PM ISTStaff Writer
Upto 185 kmph wind speeds expected due to the cyclone Yaas that originated over Bay of Bengal
From bringing fishing boats onshore, cancelling passenger trains in areas likely to be impacted by the cyclone Yaas, and ensuring safety of oil and gas installations, ships, and docks; the union government is pulling out all stops to limit the damage that may be caused by the extreme weather event.
Earlier last week cyclone Tauktae caused extensive loss of life and property in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Kerala, Karnataka and Goa. Apart from damage to houses and crops, power and communication poles were uprooted, and shipping vessels and crafts’ moorings
“According to India Meteorological Department, the Depression over east central Bay of Bengal is very likely to move slowly north-north-westwards and intensify into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm and reach Northwest Bay of Bengal near north Odisha and West Bengal coasts by 26th May morning. It is very likely to cross north Odisha – West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar islands by evening of 26th May as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm,” ministry of petroleum and natural gas said in a statement on Monday.
With the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, that originated in Wuhan, China raging across the country, home minister Amit Shah also reviewed the cyclone preparations with the chief ministers of Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and the lieutenant governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
“Shri Amit Shah specifically reviewed and re-iterated to the States/ UT administrations to make adequate power backup arrangements in all COVID-19 hospitals, labs, vaccine cold chains and other medical facilities. Further, he advised them to ensure adequate stocks of all essential medicines and supplies in hospitals, keeping in view likely disruption of movement of vehicles,” ministry of home affairs said in a statement.
Ensuring uninterrupted electricity supply holds the key to running emergency services such as hospitals, medical oxygen plants and test labs. Also, Indian Railways transporting liquid medical oxygen (LMO) across the key corridors to help meet the shortage of medical oxygen in the country. The national carrier has delivered 16023 MT of LMO by 247 oxygen expresses.
“The Union Home Minister also reviewed the impact of the cyclone on oxygen generation plants located in the States of West Bengal, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. He advised them to make advance planning for keeping a buffer stock of oxygen for two days and movement of oxygen tankers to allocated States, so that in case of any disruption, supply to allocated States is not impacted,” the home affairs ministry statement added.
As the country is facing an oxygen crisis amid a massive surge in covid-19 cases and hospitals are demanding more of the life-saving gas, Odisha which will fall in the cyclone’ path has stepped up oxygen supply to states such as Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.
“Railway authorities informed that passenger trains will be cancelled from tomorrow onwards in the areas likely to be worst affected, and the freight trains will also be regulated when the wind speed picks up,” the ministry of petroleum and natural gas statement said after a meeting of railways, commerce and industry, consumer affairs, and food and public distribution minister Piyush Goyal; steel, petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan and the minister of ports, shipping and waterways Mansukh Mandaviya with the industry heads.
“Railways has already moved the emergency equipment and relief materials to strategic places, and the restoration work will be done at the earliest. The movement of Oxygen express from Rourkela will continue through alternative routes,” the petroleum ministry statement added.
State run refineries are also diverting liquid medical oxygen to hospitals.
“Shri Dharmendra Pradhan assured that the supply of Liquid medical oxygen from eastern India to the rest of the country will not be affected. He said that Ministry of PNG has made full assessment of various oil and gas installations, ships, docks etc in the area, and learning from recent experience, has taken all precautionary steps to ensure minimal damage,” the oil ministry statement said.
With cyclone Yaas to hit India’ east coast shortly, the government wants to minimise the damage as was witnessed during cyclone Tauktae wherein three construction barges of Afcons working on a project of state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, and one floater drilling rig of upstream explorer in Arabian Sea bore the cyclone Tauktae fury. According to petroleum and natural gas ministry, five vessels carrying 714 personnel were caught in the Tauktae cyclone.
“The Union Home Minister stressed on the need to ensure safety of power and telecommunication services and their timely restoration. He advised the State Governments and the Union Territory of Andaman & Nicobar Islands to make advance planning and pre-position required manpower, equipment and material at vulnerable locations. He also emphasised on the need to look after the safety of power lines during the cyclone, and to promptly restore any damage that occurs,” the home affairs ministry statement said.
With upto 185 kmph wind speeds expected due to the cyclone that originated over Bay of Bengal and in turn impacting power transmission links, the union power ministry is also “keeping in readiness transformers, DG sets and equipments etc. for immediate restoration of electricity.”