Heavy rain and a high tide yesterday lashed parts of India’s east coast as a cyclone pushed ashore in an area where more than 1.1 million people have evacuated.
Cyclone Yaas had caused two deaths and damage to homes as severe weather and rains affected Odisha and West Bengal states before the storm began making landfall in the late morning.
The “very severe cyclonic storm” has sustained winds of 130kph to 140kph that are gusting up to 155kph, the India Meteorological Department said.
With the storm almost fully on land, its winds were expected to weaken to 75kph by yesterday evening, the department said.
Television images showed knee-deep water flooding the beachfront and other areas of Digha, a resort town in West Bengal.
Wind gusts whipped palm trees back and forth.
Overflowing water breached several river embankments and parts of West Bengal had flooding, the Press Trust of India news agency said.
Resident Prasanta Das moved into a government-run shelter with his goats as his village was flooded.
“We are there [in the shelter] with our cattle and goats,” Das said.
On Tuesday, a tornado snapped electricity lines that electrocuted two people and damaged 40 houses, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.
More than 17cm of rain had fallen in Chandabali and Paradip regions of Odisha state since Tuesday, the department said.
Tidal surges of up to 4m were forecast.
Kolkata and Bhubaneshwar airports were shut, and train services were canceled before the storm as a precaution.
Fishing trawlers and boats were told to take shelter.
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