Another cyclone looms for India, a week after deadly storm

KOLKATA: A severe cyclone is brewing off India’s eastern coast, the nation’s weather bureau warned on Sunday, as the death toll rose from a major storm that wreaked havoc in the west of the virus-hit nation last week.

Moving northwards in the Bay of Bengal, the depression was set to form a cyclone — to be dubbed Yaas — before intensifying and hitting the eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha on Wednesday, the India Meteorological Department said.

The storm could pack winds of up to 165 kilometres per hour, hitting occasional highs of up to 185kph by mid-Wednesday as a “Very Severe Cyclonic Storm”, the third-worst category, the department said.

It also warned of storm surges of up to four metres high in coastal areas.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday he had chaired a meeting on the approaching storm, with the military and disaster teams deployed to help with the preparations and potential rescue operations.

Cyclone Yaas is set to hit soon after Cyclone Tauktae, India’s first major tropical storm this season, which battered the western state of Gujarat late on Monday.