KOLKATA: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has put on alert its employees and disaster management teams in view of the formation of cyclonic storm Asani, which is likely to intensify further into a severe cyclone, mayor Firhad Hakim said on Sunday.
He said the leaves of all employees concerned are being cancelled to deal with any emergency evolving due to the cyclone, which he said is unlikely to hit the city but will bring heavy rains in its wake.
"We are, however, making preparations to deal with any eventuality if the cyclone hits the city so that life is brought back to normal as soon as possible," Hakim told reporters here.
He said that taking lessons from the devastating effects of the Amphan super cyclone in May 2020, the KMC administration is taking all measures such as keeping cranes, electric saws and earthmovers on standby to clear blockades caused by fallen trees and other debris.
"We did not understand what the effect of Amphan could really be, but having learnt from our experience we are keeping everything ready," he said.
Amphan had uprooted hundreds of trees in the city, blocking thoroughfares and snapping power supply for days in some areas.
Hakim said a control room of the KMC will be operational during the movement of Asani.
The Met department has forecast that Asani, lying over the southeast Bay of Bengal, is likely to intensify into a severe cyclone as it moves northwestwards.
The weatherman has forecast that Asani, on reaching westcentral and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal off north Andhra-Odisha coasts on Tuesday, is very likely to recurve north-northeast wards and move towards northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha coast The severe cyclonic storm is very likely to lose some steam thereafter and turn into a cyclonic storm on Wednesday and further dissipate into a deep depression by Thursday.
It is likely to bring in its wake light to moderate rainfall over Gangetic West Bengal from Tuesday to Friday with heavy downpour at one or two places in the coastal districts of Purba Medinipur, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, the weatherman said.
The administrations of these three districts are keeping cyclone shelters, schools and other pucca structures, dry food and necessary medicines ready to deal with any situation that may occur, a state government official said.
Fishermen at fishing ports of Shankarpur, Fraserganj and other places were asked by the police and civil defence officials not to venture into the sea in view of the rough weather conditions that are likely to prevail.