To avoid loss at the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata from the impending cyclone Yaas, all port vessels will be taken inside dock for shelter and ships inside docks will be fastened properly following best practices. According to the India Meteorological Department, the deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into cyclone Yaas in the early hours of Monday and it is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours. In a statement, a spokesperson of the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port (formerly Kolkata Port Trust) said separate control room at the Kolkata Dock System and Haldia Dock Complex are manned by senior officers from the marine department, traffic department and CISF.
The statement said no ships will be kept in river anchorages or jetties and all vessels in impound docks will be secured with additional mooring ropes and all masters to be advised to stay alert. It said all survey launches have been advised to move to safe locations, and tugs and launches will be kept in the river for any emergencies. According to the statement, all cranes, vessels at dry docks, caissons and electrical installation will be kept secured. “Adequate number of generator-sets (are) hired and kept at strategic locations,” it said adding that hand-held walkie-talkies will be made available to key personnel. The statement said CISF and PSO patrol vans with adequate manpower will be patrolling the port area to send first-hand information to the control room.
The cyclone is likely to cross north Odisha-West Bengal coasts between Paradip and Sagar Islands around May 26 noon as a “very severe cyclonic storm”. It is expected to bring in winds of 155-165 kilometres per hour, gusting up to 180 kmph. The West Bengal and Odisha governments have been bracing to deal with the impact of the cyclone. On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness of the state and central agencies to deal with the situation, and called for a timely evacuation of those involved in offshore activities. The armed forces are also on alert, with the Navy putting four warships and a number of aircraft on standby.
The Air Force has kept 11 transport aircraft and 25 helicopters ready to carry out humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, officials said. National Disaster Response Force chief S N Pradhan has urged authorities in the two states to adopt an “over-preparing” approach for the impending natural disaster, and carry out evacuation even in the least vulnerable places.