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Cyclone Remal likely to hit West Bengal coasts tonight, authorities on high alert

26 May 2024

New Delhi [India], May 26 (ANI): Cyclonic storm Remal is likely to cross Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal coasts between Sagar islands and Khepupara, close to South-West of Mongla (Bangladesh) by midnight today and is likely to cause rainfall in West Bengal and the Northeastern States, said India Meteorological Department.

"SCS RemaL over North BoB is to move northwards about 130 km E-SE of Sagar Islands (WB), 140 km SW of Khepupara (Bangladesh), 140 km S-SE of Canning (WB), 160 km S-SW of Mongla (B) and cross Bangladesh and adj WB coasts by midnight today as SCS with a max wind speed of 110-120 kmph," IMD posted on X.

Ahead of the impending landfall, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the preparedness for cyclone "Remal" over the North Bay of Bengal at his residence.

Prime Minister was briefed that the National Crisis Management Committee is in regular touch with the Government of West Bengal. All fishermen have been advised not to venture into the South Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.

"Around one lakh people are being moved to safer places. IMD is also extending information support to Bangladesh with regular updates," the Prime Minister's office said.

Prime Minister said that the Centre has extended full support to the West Bengal government and must continue to do so.

He said that the Ministry of Home Affairs should monitor the situation and take a review after the landfall of the cyclone in order to extend necessary assistance for restoration.

Prime Minister has instructed that apart from 12 NDRF teams that have already been deployed in West Bengal and one in Odisha, more teams be kept on standby which can move within one hour.

The Indian Coast Guard deploys its assets for any emergency. He said the Ports, Railways and Highways be kept on high vigil to avoid any untoward incidents.

West Bengal Governor Ananda Bose also called an emergency review meeting on cyclone Remal. Raj Bhawan has set up a task force to assist the public in this hour of need. Raj Bhawan will be open for the public, in case they need safe accommodation and other support.

The governor has also advised the public to follow the instructions of the competent authority on how to face the cyclone. People may stay in safe places. Those who are in vulnerable places may immediately seek help from the competent authority. Raj Bhawan medical facilities will be available throughout the night and beyond if need be. Two ambulances are kept ready and more will be requisitioned if needed. 8 members emergency medical task force is constituted by the Chief medical officer for any crisis management.

Governor and the senior officers of Rajbhawan will be available throughout the night on call. AsDC will coordinate with the police forces both Centre and states to offer assistance to people.

He also expressed confidence that the resilient people of Bengal will face the crisis with resilience and fortitude.

In anticipation of the landfall of cyclonic storm Remal likely between Bangladesh and the adjoining West Bengal coast on Sunday midnight, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed a total of 14 teams in the state.

These teams are on standby to assist in rescue and relief operations as Remal approaches the region and it is now centred over the Bay of Bengal intensifying into a severe cyclonic storm."A total of 14 NDRF teams are deployed in West Bengal to assist in rescue and relief operations considering landfall of cyclonic storm Remal," NDRF said.

The 14 NDRF teams have been deployed to vulnerable areas of nine districts (Hooghly-1, Howrah-1, South 24 Parganas-3, North 24 Parganas-2, Purba Medinipur -2, Paschim Meddanipur-2, Kolkata-1, Murshidabad -1, Nadia-1) of West Bengal.

Since the issuance of early warning from India Meteorological Department and NDRF teams have been made available to the state and district administration for evacuating people to safer places and cyclone shelters wherever required and sensitizing localities about the preventive measures.

As per the force, the NDRF teams have been strategically positioned across the state, particularly in areas predicted to be most affected by the storm. "The NDRF units are equipped with boats, life jackets, and other essential rescue equipment, prepared to respond to emergencies as the cyclone makes landfall."Officials in NDRF said the teams deployed on the ground are fully prepared to handle any situation that arises from Cyclone Remal.

"Our teams are trained and ready to ensure the safety and security of the residents of West Bengal."NDRF is closely monitoring development and coordination has been made at all levels.NDRF's positioning was stated a few hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the response and preparedness for Remal.

The state government has also ramped up its preparedness efforts, with local authorities advising residents in vulnerable areas to evacuate and take necessary precautions. Shelters have been set up, and essential supplies are being stockpiled to support those who may be displaced by the storm.

Residents are being urged to stay informed through official channels and to follow safety advisories.

The storm is predicted to hit with maximum sustained wind speeds of 110-120 kmph, with gusts reaching up to 135 kmph, around 11 pm on May 26 near Khepupara and Sagar Island.

The IMD has issued warnings of extremely heavy rainfall in West Bengal's coastal districts and heavy to very heavy rainfall in northern Odisha on May 26 and 27 due to the weather system. Assam and Meghalaya are also expected to experience extremely heavy precipitation, while heavy to very heavy rains are anticipated in Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Tripura on Monday and Tuesday.

IMD Alipore has issued Orange alert for Kolkata, Howrah, Hooghly, East Midnapore, Nadia, North and South 24 parganas districts of West Bengal for the next three hours ahead of landfall of cyclone Remal at Sagar Islands (Sundarbans) on Sunday midnight.

"Rain with one or two intense spells (2-3 cm/hr) with strong surface wind (50-60 Kmph) very likely to occur over Kolkata, Howrah, Hooghly, East Midnapore, Nadia, North and South 24 Parganas districts. People are advised to take shelter in safe place," IMD Alipore said.

Flight operations between Kolkata and Agartala have been suspended with the cancellation of all arrivals from Kolkata till Monday morning as Cyclonic Storm "Remal" intensifies over the Bay of Bengal. According to Agartala airport authorities, all flight arrivals from Kolkata to the city have been cancelled till 9 am on May 27.

"All flights arriving from Kolkata to Agartala are cancelled till 0900 hrs on 27 May 2024. Passengers are being informed by the concerned airlines. Other flights arriving from Delhi, Bangalore, and Guwahati are operating normally. Updates for air traffic will be provided further," Agartala airport authorities said in a statement.

IndiGo Airlines has rescheduled and cancelled some flights due to Cyclone Remal and issued a NOTAM in Kolkata. A Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) is a message sent by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to pilots to alert them of potential hazards that could affect their flight.

As a precautionary measure, trains at the Shalimar railway station were tied to the railway track with the help of chains and locks to keep the trains from sliding away due to strong winds.

The Indian Navy has initiated preparatory actions, following existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), to mount a credible Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) response in the aftermath of Cyclone Remal. (ANI)

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