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Cyclone 'Bulbul' set to make landfall by 11 pm, two deaths reported in resultant rain


PTI11_8_2019_000117A
Chennai:

KOLKATA/BHUBANESWAR: Hurtling high-speed cyclonic storm 'Bulbul' is set to make landfall by 11 pm Saturday night between Sagar Islands of West Bengal and Khepupara in Bangladesh and move northwestwards into the neighbouring country over the Sunderban delta.

The system is likely to weaken gradually after landfall as a severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained speed of 110 to 120 kilometre per hour with gusts up to 135 kmph, the Met department said in Kolkata.

Weathermen said that gale wind at a speed of 80 to 90 kmph was prevailing along and off the coastal and adjoining districts of West and East Midnapore, South and North 24 Parganas in the evening of Saturday and was likely to increas gradually to 110 to 120 kmph with gusts up to 135 kmph.

Squally wind with speed of 50 to 60 kmph with gusts up to 70 kmph was likely to prevail over Kolkata during the night, the Met office said.

One death each has been reported from Bengal and Odisha due to heavy rain triggered by the very severe cyclonic storm Bulbul.

Rain lashed coastal West Bengal, uprooted trees leading to death of one person in the city.

Continous downpouring since the early hours of Saturday left parts of Kolkata and its adjoining suburbs with waterlogged streets and overflowing drains.

Trees were uprooted in various parts of the city killing one person in a renowned club of the city, the officials said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said during the day she is monitoring the situation and the administration has taken all measures to tackle any contingency in view of cyclone Bulbul.

She appealed to citizens to maintain calm and not to panic.

In Odisha, information about the death of one person due to a rain-related wall collapse incident has been received from Kendrapara district and the matter is being enquired, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said.

Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said the state government is keeping a close watch on the situation and necessary action is being taken to deal with it.

In Delhi, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), the country's apex body to handle any emergency, on Saturday reviewed the preparedness to deal with the very severe cyclone 'Bulbul' over the Bay of Bengal.

The NCMC meeting was headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba.

"Due to very severe cyclone 'Bulbul', operations at Kolkata airport is being suspend from 1800 hours on November 9 up to 0600 hours on November 10," a home ministry official said in the national capital.

In Odisha, around 4,000 people have so far been evacuated from vulnerable and low-lying areas in some coastal regions of the state and shifted to 47 cyclone shelters, officials said.

Personnel of the Indian Coast Guard are in all readiness to tackle any eventuality in the wake of cyclonic storm 'Bulbul'.

Ships have been moved to safer locations at Paradip, Dhamra and Sagar Island coasts, Inspector General of Coast Guard, Rajan Bargotra, told PTI.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the rough seas in Odisha and West Bengal coastal regions in view of the cyclonic storm, said Bargotra, who is the Commander Coast Guard Region (North East).

Deputy Inspector General S R Dash, who is Commander of Coast Guard, West Bengal, said three disaster management teams have been stationed at Haldia and two at Fraserganj in 24 Parganas district for timely action.

"We are trying to achieve zero casaulty," Dash told PTI.

Three IN ships at Visakhapatnam are standby with relief material embarked for immediate deployment to the most affected areas to undertake Humanitarian Aid Distress Relief (HADR) operation, Defence sources said.

Additionally, 10 diving and medical teams are also kept ready for augmenting rescue and relief efforts in Odisha and West Bengal.

Naval aircraft are kept ready at Naval Air station, INS Dega to undertake aerial survey of the most affected areas, casualty evacuation and airdrop of relief material as required by the state administration.

Naval Officers-in-Charge, West Bengal and Odisha are in constant liaison with respective state administrations for rendering assistance as required, they added.