Bengal braces for heavy rains as Cyclone Remal makes landfall

Around 1.10 lakh people have been evacuated from coastal regions, including Sagar Island, Sunderbans, and Kakdwip, as a precautionary measure.
Rains and strong winds ahead of the landfall of Cyclone Remal, in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. The cyclone made landfall late on Sunday.
Rains and strong winds ahead of the landfall of Cyclone Remal, in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal. The cyclone made landfall late on Sunday.Photo | PTI

KOLKATA: Cyclone Remal intensified into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ and made landfall between West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts on Sunday night with wind speeds ranging from 110-120 km per hour and gusts reaching up to 135 kmph, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The IMD said the weather system will bring heavy to very heavy rainfall over South and North 24 Parganas, Purba Medinipur, Kolkata Howrah and Hooghly districts of West Bengal while heavy rain is likely in the state’s Paschim Medinipur, Purba Bardhaman and Nadia districts on May 26 and 27.

Extremely heavy rains are also likely to lash parts of northeast India on May 27 and 28. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea till May 28.

Around 1.10 lakh people have been evacuated from coastal regions, including Sagar Island, Sunderbans, and Kakdwip, as a precautionary measure.

Kolkata airport has suspended flight operations for 21 hours beginning from Sunday noon. The Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata suspended all cargo and container handling operations for 12 hours from Sunday evening. Railway operations in the port area will also be suspended during that time, officials said.

Sixteen battalions each from the state disaster management force and the National Disaster Response Forces have been deployed in the coastal regions to help with evacuation and relief works.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review response and preparedness. West Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose said he is closely monitoring the situation and is in touch with the state and central experts to ensure a coordinated response.

The state government has set up a 24/7 control room at the state secretariat in Kolkata to monitor the situation in the state’s coastal districts. The helpline numbers at the state secretariat are 1070 and (033)-22143526.

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