Updated May 26th, 2024 at 21:53 IST

Cyclone Remal Over Bay of Bengal: All You Need to Know

The authorities of Kolkata airport have decided to suspend flight operations for 21 hours from Sunday noon in view of the possible impact of cyclone Remal.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Cyclone Remal Formed Over Bay of Bengal: All You Need to Know | Image:File
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Kolkata: The authorities of Kolkata airport have decided to suspend flight operations for 21 hours from Sunday noon in view of the possible impact of cyclone Remal, an official said here.

A total of 394 flights, arrival and departure, in both international and domestic sectors would not operate to and fro the airport during the flight suspension period, an Airports Authority of India (AAI) spokesperson told PTI.

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The precautionary measure was taken after a meeting of the stakeholders of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport here on Saturday, the official said.

This was done during the meeting as per the Met department report. It said that heavy wind with speeds more than 50 to 60 knots and gusting up to 70 knots. One knot is equivalent to 1.852 km per hour.

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“In view of cyclone Remal's impact on the coastal region of West Bengal, including Kolkata, a meeting was held with the stakeholders and it has been decided to suspend flight operations from 1200 IST on May 26 to 0900 IST on May 27 due to predicted heavy winds and heavy to very heavy rainfall in Kolkata,” NSCBI Airport Director C Pattabhi said in a statement.

With a wind speed of 110-120 km per hour, gusting to 135 kmph, the cyclonic storm is likely to make landfall on May 26 at midnight along the adjoining coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh.

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The Met Office has warned of extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal and north Odisha on May 26-27.

A storm surge of up to 1.5 metres is expected to inundate low-lying areas of coastal West Bengal and Bangladesh at the time of landfall.

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A meeting was convened by the Kolkata airport director on Friday also with all the stakeholders including AAI, Met department, air traffic control (ATC), communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS) and others in view of the cyclone.

According to a top AAI official, this is perhaps the first time that the weather conditions en route both for aircraft and passengers have been considered so that fliers could get proper time to reach their respective destinations after landing here.

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“Similarly, no flights will come or depart from Kolkata after 12 noon on Sunday and it is well ahead of the cyclone’s landfall time. So no aircraft, departing and arriving, would encounter very bad weather en route,” the official explained.

Other standard safety-related procedures – such as lowering high mast lights, putting away all equipment at safer places and shifting vehicles inside hangers - are being carried out.

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Besides, mooring of smaller aircraft will have to be completed also, the official said

Cyclone Remal formed, landfall likely between West Bengal, Bangladesh coasts on Sunday midnight

A deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm, named Remal, on Saturday evening and is likely to turn severe before making landfall between the coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh on Sunday midnight, the IMD said.

Named by Oman, Remal, meaning sand in Arabic, is the first cyclone over the Bay of Bengal in this pre-monsoon season.

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The weather system, moving at a speed of 12 kmph over the east-central Bay of Bengal, was 350 km south-southeast of Sagar Island in West Bengal at 5.30 pm on Saturday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Moving in a northward direction, it is likely to concentrate further into a severe cyclonic storm by Sunday morning and cross West Bengal and adjoining Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Island and Khepupara with a wind speed of 110 to 120 kmph, gusting to 135 kmph, by midnight of Sunday.

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The IMD warned of extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal and heavy to very heavy rainfall in north Odisha on Sunday and Monday owing to the weather system.

Extremely heavy precipitation is also likely in Assam and Meghalaya, and heavy to very heavy rains in the other northeastern states of Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura on Monday and Tuesday.

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Storm surge of up to 1.5 metre is expected to inundate low-lying areas of coastal West Bengal and Bangladesh at the time of landfall.

The IMD warned fishermen not to venture into the sea in the north Bay of Bengal till Monday morning.

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A red alert was issued for West Bengal's coastal districts of South and North 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur, and also for adjoining Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly, where extremely heavy rain is likely on Sunday and Monday.

The South and North 24 Parganas are likely to witness the most impact of the cyclone with wind speeds reaching 110 to 120 kmph, gusting to 130 kmph, while the other districts are likely to experience wind speeds of 70 to 80 kmph, gusting to 90 kmph.

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The IMD warned of localised flooding and major damage to vulnerable structures, power and communication lines, kutcha roads and crops in South and North 24 Parganas districts of West Bengal.

An orange alert will thereafter be in force in these districts till Tuesday morning, except in Purba Medinipur, it said.

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The rest of the districts in southern West Bengal will experience wind speeds of 40 to 50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, it added.

In north Odisha, the coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrak and Kendrapara will receive heavy rain on Sunday and Monday.

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People in the affected areas have been asked to remain indoors and vacate vulnerable structures.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) said it has taken all pre-emptive measures to ensure there is no loss of life or property at sea.

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ICG's remote operating stations at Haldia and Paradip are alerting fishing vessels and merchant ships through VHF (very high frequency) broadcasts, a statement said.

"Bangladesh Coast Guard authorities have been informed for instituting needful preparation for a collective response to the developing situation," it said.

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The ICG said its ships and aircraft are kept at immediate notice to undertake search and rescue missions.

Nine disaster relief teams are kept on standby at Haldia and Fraserganj in West Bengal, and Paradip and Gopalpur in Odisha, it said.

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The Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata said that it will suspend all cargo and container handling operations for 12 hours from 6 pm on Sunday till 6 am on Monday in view of the cyclone. 

Ensure zero loss of life, minimum damage to property in cyclone Remal: NCMC to authorities

The National Crisis Management Committee, the country's apex decision-making body on emergency situation, Friday asked all fishermen currently in the Bay of Bengal to return to safety in view of impending cyclone Rema, and directed authorities to ensure no life is lost and damage to property is minimum.

The NCMC, headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, discussed the preparedness for the cyclone at a meeting here. It was informed that 12 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams were deployed at vulnerable areas and five additional teams are on standby, according to an official release.

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"Rescue and relief teams of the Army, Navy and Coast Guard along with ships and aircrafts have been kept in readiness. Regular alerts and advisories are being sent by Director General, Shipping to the ports of Kolkata and Paradip," the release said.

The cyclone, named Remal, brewing in the Bay of Bengal is expected to make landfall between the Sagar Island of West Bengal and Bangladesh's Khepupara Sunday midnight, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

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Gauba asked the government of West Bengal to review the placement of large hoardings in the areas likely to be affected by the cyclonic storm.

At least 16 people were killed in Mumbai last fortnight after collapse of a giant hoarding due to a dust storm.

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The cabinet secretary assured the government of West Bengal that all central agencies are on full alert and available for assistance.

IMD Director General briefed the NCMC about the current status of the depression over the central Bay of Bengal, about 800 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh) and 810 km south of Canning (West Bengal).

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It is very likely to move northeastwards and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm by the night of May 25, the release said.

Thereafter, it will move nearly northwards and very likely to cross Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal coasts between the Sagar Island and Khepupara around May 26 midnight as a severe cyclonic storm with wind speed of 110-120 kmph gusting upto 130 kmph from the evening of May 26.

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The chief secretary of West Bengal apprised the NCMC of the preparatory measures being taken to protect the population in the expected path of the cyclonic storm and measures being taken by the local administration.

Fishermen have been asked not to venture out into the sea and those at sea have been called to safe berth. District control rooms have also been activated and are monitoring the situation.

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Adequate shelters, power supply, medicine and emergency services have been kept in readiness. Emergency teams have been deployed by the Ministry of Power for immediate power restoration.

The NCMC directed that essential services like power and telecom, in case of damage, should be restored in the shortest possible time.

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Reviewing the preparedness measures of the central agencies and the government of West Bengal, the cabinet secretary stressed that all necessary preventive and precautionary measures be taken by the state government and central agencies.

The aim should be to keep the loss of lives to zero and the damage to property and infrastructure such as power and telecom minimum, he said, adding the essential services, in case of damage, should be restored in the shortest possible time.

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The cabinet secretary said that it must be ensured that the fishermen currently at sea are called back and people from vulnerable areas are evacuated well in time, the release said.

The meeting was attended by the chief secretary of West Bengal, union home secretary, secretaries in the ministries of power, telecom, ports, shipping & waterways, petroleum and natural gas, and the department of fisheries besides other senior officials. 

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Kolkata Port announces suspension of operations on Sunday night amid cyclone alert

The Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata will suspend all cargo and container handling operations for 12 hours from Sunday evening in view of the forecast of a cyclonic storm, officials said.

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The operations will be suspended from 6 pm on Sunday till 6 am on Monday, they said.

The decision was taken for the safety of dock workers, they added.

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Port chairperson Rathendra Raman held a meeting on Saturday to oversee the preparedness for dealing with the impact of the possible cyclone. At the meeting with port officials, he emphasised on proactive measures and inter-departmental cooperation.

Railway operations in the port area will also be suspended during that time, officials said.

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The cyclone is likely to make landfall on Sunday night along the adjoining coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh with a wind speed of 110-120 km per hour, gusting to 135 kmph, the weather office said.

Tripura govt issues heavy rain alert in all eight districts

The Tripura government has issued an alert across all eight districts following the Indian Meteorological Department's warning of heavy to very heavy rainfall, gusty winds, and thunderstorms over the next 48 hours, an official said on Saturday.

The IMD said a depression originating in the Bay of Bengal is expected to intensify into a cyclonic storm on Saturday.

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"Due to the influence of the cyclonic storm, heavy rainfall and gusty winds are likely in Tripura from May 25 to May 28," said Tamal Majumder, additional secretary (Revenue).

He said heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected at isolated places in South Tripura, Gomati, Dhalai, Sepahijala, and West Tripura districts on May 26. "An orange alert has been issued in these districts as a precautionary measure," he added.

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"Thunderstorms with lightning, squally winds reaching speeds of 50-60 kmph, and heavy rainfall are expected to impact South Tripura, Gomati, Dhalai, Sepahijala, and West Tripura districts on May 27," he added.

"Thunderstorms with lightning, gusty winds, and heavy rainfall are expected in North Tripura, Unakoti, and Dhalai districts on May 28," he noted.

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"All the district magistrates have been instructed to take precautionary measures to handle any unforeseen situations. They have been told to keep the NDRF, SDRF, Tripura State Rifles, and fire services and essential services on standby in view of the alert," he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Republic staff and has been published from a syndicated feed)
 

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Published May 25th, 2024 at 23:54 IST