The ‘Yaas’ cyclone made landfall on the 26th of May, 2021. However, much before landfall, the cyclone brought about strong winds and heavy rainfall throughout West Bengal and Odisha. Some areas were left devastated with both the pre-onset and onset of the cyclone. Coastal regions like Sundarbans in North and South 24 Parganas, Digha and Mandarmani in Medinipur and several other areas were much affected as inflated rivers inundated the riverbanks and broke away dams and barriers.
Hingalganj, in Sundarbans (North 24 Parganas), was one of the heavily affected areas due to the cyclone. As the pre-onset events unfolded in the region, reports started pouring in about the sheer destruction caused. Some reports stated that dams as high as 25ft were filled to the brim, and some even overflowed.
Some of the worst affected areas under Hingalganj are Uttar Mamudpur, where 2000 families underwater, Boltola 150 families adjoining to this 300 families. Satra 300 families, Puraton Sahebkhali 200 families, Charalkali 400 families. The other reports stated that the force of the water destroyed a switch gate in Dharamberia, and 400 feet of the embankment was destroyed in Putimari. There were four embankment breaches in Katakhali, 2 in Sitle, Atapur, and one each in Sandeshkhali, Tangra and Dharamberia. Overall, around 500 families were displaced from the region due to the storm and water surge.
Swapnopuron Welfare Society (SWS) have made efforts, both pre and post the situation, to provide whatever relief possible to the affected. Before the storm hit on the 25th night, SWS had already temporarily evacuated 100 individuals and gave them shelter in the school building of Swapnopuron Shiksha Niketan. Considering the worsening COVID situation, the Rapid Relief Taskforce volunteers (who were in charge of the response to Yaas Cyclone) followed strict protocol and took severe physical distancing measures. Before evacuation, the temperature of the villagers was recorded with a thermal gun in adherence to the COVID-19 protocol. Food and water were supplied to the evacuated villagers, and their comfort was ensured. These villagers would have been otherwise left stranded in their homes and might have faced extreme difficulties if not for the efforts of the SWS Rapid Relief Taskforce.
Another centre was opened up at Puraton Sahebkhali, where 240 people were put up from 25th May night.
However, many individuals in the village have lost their assets, properties, and means of livelihood due to the storm. They would continue to require support to sustain their lives post the storm.
Total loss is immeasurable, but no loss of lives. Total families that need immediate support is 4000 families.