Updated May 27th, 2024 at 09:14 IST

Cyclone Remal Unleashes Havoc in West Bengal, Throws Normal Life Out of Gear

According to sources, over one lakh people were shifted from vulnerable areas in West Bengal before the cyclone Remal made landfall.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Cyclone Remal Unleashes Havoc in West Bengal, Throws Normal Life Out of Gear | Image:ANI
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Kolkata: Severe cyclonic storm 'Remal' that made landfall between the coasts of Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal with winds gusting up to 135 kilometres per hour, late on Sunday night, has left a trail of destruction behind, throwing normal life out of gear. The Cyclone brought heavy rains, flooded streets, inundated huts and low-lying areas, uprooted trees and knocked down electric poles in parts of Bengal, including in Kolkata.  

So far, one person has died and two others suffered injuries due to the cyclone. 

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The landfall process began at 8:30 pm on Sunday over the adjacent coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh between Sagar Island and Khepupara, near the southwest of Mongla in the neighbouring country. 

Cyclone Remal Likely to Weaken Into Cyclonic Storm 

The Cyclone is likely to weaken into a Cyclonic Storm during the next 3 hours.

“The system is likely to move north-northeastwards and gradually weaken into a Cyclonic Storm during next 3 hours. Thereafter, it would move northeastward and gradually weaken further,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a post on X at 6.55am.

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According to sources, over one lakh people were shifted from vulnerable areas in parts of Bengal before the Cyclone Remal made landfall. “The Severe Cyclonic Storm “Remal” (pronounced as “Re-Mal”) crossed the Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal Coasts between Sagar Islands and Khepupara close to southwest of Mongla near Latitude 21.75°N and Longitude 89.2°E between 2230 hrs IST of 26th May to 0030 hrs IST of 27th May 2024 as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with wind speed of 110 to 120 Kmph gusting to 135 Kmph,” the meteorological office said.

“The Severe Cyclonic Storm “Remal” (pronounced as “Re-Mal”)  lay centered at 0430 hrs IST of today, the 27th May, 2024 over Coastal Bangladesh and adjoining Coastal West Bengal, near latitude 22.2°N and longitude 89.3°E about 130 km east-northeast of Sagar Islands (West Bengal), 100 km west of Khepupara (Bangladesh), 65 km east of Canning (West Bengal) and 50km southwest of Mongla (Bangladesh),” it added.

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Several visuals have emerged that show gigantic tides crashing against a seawall in coastal resort town of Digha in Bengal. The vast coastline was covered by thick grey sheets of rain as the cyclone made landfall, with surging waters sweeping fishing boats inland and inundating mud-and-thatch houses and farmlands in low-lying areas. 

Waterlogging in Kolkata

Several areas in Kolkata witnessed waterlogging following heavy rain induced by the Cyclone. In Kolkata, a wall collapsed in Bibir Bagan area due to a heavy downpour, leaving one person injured. Efforts by teams from the Kolkata civic body and Kolkata Police Disaster Management Department are underway to clear uprooted trees in Alipore area. 

In North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts, roofs of thatched houses were blown away, power poles twisted and trees uprooted in several areas. Several streets and homes in low-lying areas adjoining Kolkata were inundated. Several trees were uprooted in Alipore area as the cyclone made landfall.

The West Bengal government evacuated around 1.10 lakh people from coastal and vulnerable areas to cyclone shelters, schools and colleges by Sunday late afternoon. 

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Meanwhile, the Indian Coast Guard have been deployed to closely monitor the landfall of cyclone Remal with a disaster response team, ships and hovercraft on standby at short notice to respond to post-impact challenges.

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PM Chairs Meet to Review Preparedness for Cyclone 

Late on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to assess the response and preparedness for cyclone Remal. He was briefed that the National Crisis Management Committee was in regular contact with the Bengal government. The cyclone brought light rains and winds in areas like Digha, Kakdwip and Jaynagar, which is expected to intensify on Monday. Cyclone Remal has caused significant disruptions in air, rail and road transportation in Kolkata and other parts of southern Bengal. 

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Cyclone Disrupts Traffic in Kolkata

The cyclone disrupted traffic in Kolkata with the Eastern and South Eastern Railways cancelling some trains, and the Kolkata airport suspending flight operations for 21 hours, affecting 394 flights. The Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata has also suspended operations. To provide assistance for rapid response, the Indian Navy has readied two ships equipped with Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and medical supplies, with aviation assets on standby. Specialised diving teams and flood relief teams have also been put on alert. 

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The Bangladesh's coastal districts which are currently under cyclone threat are Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Barguna, Barisal, Bhola, Patuakhali, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Feni, Comilla, Noakhali, Lakshmipur and Chandpur.


 

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Published May 27th, 2024 at 07:52 IST