Cyclone Remal: Alert in several Assam districts, govt initiates safety plan

Squally winds of 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph are expected over South Assam and Meghalaya on May 27.
Commuters taking cover under umbrella cross road during rain, ahead of cyclone Remal's landfall, in Kolkata, Sunday, May 26, 2024.
Commuters taking cover under umbrella cross road during rain, ahead of cyclone Remal's landfall, in Kolkata, Sunday, May 26, 2024.PTI

GUWAHATI: With cyclone 'Remal' expected to make landfall around midnight on Sunday, a 'red alert' has been issued for extremely heavy rainfall in seven districts of Assam, and an 'orange alert' in 11 districts, according to an official release.

The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) has alerted residents and authorities, emphasising safety measures as the cyclone, after hitting West Bengal and Bangladesh on May 26, is predicted to move towards the Northeast.

The Indian Meteorological Department has warned of extensive rainfall over Assam and other northeastern states on May 27 and 28.

A 'red alert' has been issued for Chirang, Goalpara, Baksa, Dima Hasao, Cachar, Hailakandi, and Karimganj districts, while an 'orange alert' is in place for Dhubri, South Salmara, Bongaigaon, Bajali, Tamulpur, Barpeta, Nalbari, Morigaon, Nagaon, Hojai, and West Karbi Anglong.

Squally winds of 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph are expected over South Assam and Meghalaya on May 27.

Preparedness measures have been escalated, with NDRF teams prepositioned in various districts and the Fire and Emergency Services headquarters keeping all SDRF teams and fire stations ready.

Nodal officers from ASDMA and Revenue and Disaster Management department convened a series of meetings with all district authorities on Sunday to review the preparedness.

Regulation of boat traffic may be implemented, if needed, in certain rivers, particularly in Dhubri, Goalpara, South Salmara, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, and Barak Valley districts.

The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has ensured the desiltation of major river channels like Bharalu, Bahini, Basistha, Mora Bharalu and Lakhimijan along with other major drains.

Super sucker machines and pumps with additional manpower have been mobilised, and GMC is also closely monitoring the areas which have faced waterlogging issues in the past, it said.

Anticipatory evacuation of vulnerable populations from landslide-prone areas in Guwahati, Kamrup, Dima Hasao, Cachar, Karimganj, Hailakandi, Karbi Anglong and West Karbi Anglong districts may also be considered, the release said.

The Health Department has been put on alert, ensuring availability of emergency medicines and healthcare staff.

Other departments, including Power, Forest, Panchayat and Rural Development, and Irrigation, have also been instructed to remain vigilant.

The public has been advised to take precautionary measures, such as avoiding vulnerable structures, staying away from waterlogged areas, seeking shelter during storms, stocking up on essentials, and contacting authorities in emergencies.

Meanwhile, the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) in Guwahati has forecasted temperatures above normal levels, with maximum temperatures likely to reach 37-39 degrees Celsius in south Assam and 36-38 degrees Celsius in other parts of the state.

However, temperatures are expected to decrease in the subsequent 48 hours.

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