KOLKATA/BHUBANESWAR: With the cyclone 'Bulbul' intensifying into a very severe cyclonic storm and triggering heavy rain in parts of Odisha and West Bengal, the two states are bracing for the impact.
The Met department in the two states said the cyclone is likely to make landfall between West Bengal and Bangladesh in the early hours of Sunday, bringing in its wake heavy rain and gusts of up to 135 kmph in the coastal areas.
The weatherman said the severe cyclonic storm, which lay centred 600 km south of Kolkata on Friday morning, was expected to intensify further by Saturday and move northwards.
During landfall, 'Bulbul' is "very likely" to be in the 'severe cyclonic storm' category with maximum sustained windspeed of 110 to 120 km per hour, gusting up to 135 kmph, Regional Met Director G K Das said in Kolkata.
The storm might cause damage to kutcha houses, power and communication lines and roads in parts of West Bengal, he said, advising people in vulnerable areas to stay indoors.
It might also uproot trees, ruin crops and cause embankment erosion, he warned.
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The cyclone is unlikely to make the landfall in Odisha, but the state will face heavy to very heavy rainfall in its coastal and northern districts in the next two days, Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre Director HR Biswas said.
According to IMD predictions, coastal Odisha is likely to experience wind speed of 70-80 kmph gusting up to 90 kmph.
The authorities of two state governments are taking all measures to tackle any contigency, even as the Centre assured them of all assistance.
Several parts of Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Kendrapara witnessed heavy showers on Friday morning, with Odisha Special Relief Commissioner PK Jena asking the district collectors, mainly in the coastal and the northern region, to keep adequate arrangements in place to deal with possible waterlogging and flood-like situation.
Two teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action force and one of the National Disaster Response Force are on standby in Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur districts.
Acting on the advice by weatherman, both states suspended fishing activities from Friday onwards over the West Bengal-Odisha coasts.
The met department also advised West Bengal government to suspend ferry boat service on November 9 and 10 in Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, East and West Midnapore districts.
An emergency operations center (EOC) control room was opened at the West Bengal secretariat.
"The emergency control room phone numbers 1070 and (033) 22143526 are open 24x7 for the next three days," an official of the state disaster management department said.
Sufficient relief materials, dry fruits, terpoline have been sent to different relief godowns situated at blocks, sub-division and district level at Sunderbans, South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore, he said.
"We have also started vacating houses and building in both residential and hotel situated close to the sea," the official said that all leaves of the officials have been cancelled.
Port authorities in Paradip have also taken steps to combat the storm, Jena said.
Kolkata Port Trust has suspended shipping operations from both in Kolkata and Haldia docks, port officials said.