Darjeeling’s BJP MP Raju Bista has urged all to follow instructions from the local administrative authorities and cooperate with them in view of the approaching Cyclone Yaas. Yaas is expected to make landfall in the evening on 26 May in between Paradip in Odisha and Sagar Islands in West Bengal after intensifying into a very severe cyclonic storm.
“… parts of West Bengal are set to be hit hard by Cyclone Yaas. The Central Government is coordinating with the State Govts to ensure that there is no loss of lives. National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) is being deployed in places where the impacts are expected to be high. The Union Government is working in close coordination with the state government and local authorities,” Mr Bista said.
According to him, even though North Bengal may not be directly impacted due to the storm, “we cannot ignore the devastation high rain events can cause.” “Especially in Darjeeling hills, Terai and Dooars, we have previously seen the devastation caused by Hurricane Aila and other heavy rain events, given our fragile ecology and difficult geography, I am therefore, requesting you all to be prepared and help each other out. Stock up on emergency supplies, especially medicines, basic good and lights, candles, and electricity,” Mr Bista said.
“I have spoken to NDRF Commandant in Charge of West Bengal and NDRF North Bengal In-charge. They have informed me that NDRF has already deployed two teams in Siliguri, Darjeeling District and Sikkim. I have also spoken to Darjeeling DM and other local authorities and taken stock of their preparedness in dealing with any eventuality,” he added.
According to him, he was closely monitoring the situation. “I request you all to remain calm and help each other, especially those who are elderly, divyang, and those in poor health,” he said.
SMC at the ready The chairperson of the board of administrators of the Siliguri Municipal Corporation, Gautam Deb, held a ‘disaster management meeting’ with departments concerned over Cyclone Yaas preparedness. Mr Deb said there will be a round-the-clock control room, and that there were arrangements of 12 water tanks, and two more will be hired from the PHE, along with 1 lakh water pouches.
The WBSEDCL will ensure speedy repair if electricity poles get damaged. Power saws will be readied for cutting and removing uprooted trees. Two pumps will be used to flush out stagnant water if necessary. Relief materials are also being readied, Mr Deb said.