KOLKATA: Heavy rain triggered by very severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul' on Saturday lashed coastal West Bengal, uprooted trees leading to the death of one person in the city and causing traffic snarls, officials said.
Incessant rain since the early hours of Saturday has left parts of Kolkata and its adjoining suburbs with waterlogged streets and overflowing drains, leading to traffic congestion during busy office hours. Trees were uprooted in various parts of the city killing one person in a renowned club of the city, the officials said.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has put in place a special team who are using high-power pumps to remove water from low lying areas.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said she is herself monitoring the situation and the administration has taken all measures to tackle any contingency in view of the Cyclone 'Bulbul', which will make its landfall in the coastal area of the state late in the evening or night.
Cyclone 'Bulbul', which was centred 190 km south- southwest of Sagar Islands at 5:30 am on Saturday, is likely to weaken gradually and cross the coast between Sagar Islands of West Bengal and Khepupara in Bangladesh with a reduced force as a severe cyclonic storm, the Met department said.
The chief minister appealed to citizens to maintain calm and not to panic. Official sources said schools, colleges and anganwadi centres were kept closed and more than 1.2 lakh people have been rescued from vulnerable coastal areas.
An emergency operations centre (EOC) control room was opened at the state secretariat. There has been a total suspension of fishing operations from Friday onwards over the West Bengal-Odisha coasts.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into northwest Bay of Bengal along the coasts of West Bengal and Odisha, and into the riverine area and sea of Sunderbans delta on Saturday and Sunday. Tourists visiting Digha, Mandarmani in East Midnapore and Bakkhali in South 24 Parganas district have been asked not to go near the sea and stay indoors.