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'Bulbul' likely to cross Bengal-Bangladesh coast between Sagar Island, Khepupara tonight

'Bulbul' likely to cross Bengal-Bangladesh coast between Sagar Island, Khepupara tonight

| @indiablooms | 09 Nov 2019, 03:23 pm

Kolkata, Nov 9 (UNI) Cyclone "Bulbul" will cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coast between Sagar Island and Khepupara by late evening or night on Saturday with a speed of 110-120 kmph as a severe cyclonic storm, officials said.

Its impact has already been causing moderate to heavy rainfall since Friday afternoon in Kolkata and south Bengal.

" Cyclone Bulbul is about to pass through Bengal. Our State Administration is closely monitoring the situation 24×7, " Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee informed.

"We are taking all measures to tackle any contingency. Special Control Rooms have been set up and NDRF-SDRF teams are deployed, " Banerjee tweeted highlighting the measures taken by her government to meet the situation.

"Schools, colleges and anganwadi centres have been closed and more than 1 lac 20 thousand people have already been rescued from the vulnerable coastal areas," she said.

"Please do not panic. Kindly remain calm and co-operate with the administration in its rescue and relief efforts. Be alert, take care and stay safe. #WBFightsCyclone Bulbul," Banerjee added.

" Due to impact of #CycloneBulbul with strong cross winds & likely wind shear in approaches, flight operations at #KolkataAirport will be discontinued from 1800 IST today upto 0600 IST on 10.11.2019. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused, " according to Airport Authority of India (AAI) official.

Rainfall will increase as the cyclone approaches the coast. The storm is likely to hit the landmass at a speed of 110-120 kilometre per hour, accompanied by gusty winds at 135 km per hour and might continue for the next 12 hours.

Its maximum impact is likely to be felt in places like East Midnapore, North and South 24 Parganas and Howrah.

The storm has been gaining speed since and is likely to make landfall sometimes after the evening today, Alipore weather office said.

Damage to crops, huts, power and phone lines, embankments etc is feared. Trees are likely to be uprooted as well.

The Meteorological Department has issued alert asking the state to take measures to suspend fishing in coastal areas, ferry services and shifting the coastal hut dwellers to safety.

Around 84,000 people from coastal areas have been moved to safety.

The West Bengal government has declared holiday for educational institutions as a precautionary measure in view of the cyclonic storm.

High alerts have already been sounded in all coastal districts of the state, including south and north 24 Parganas, Midnapore and other districts as necessary measures have been taken by the local administration.

Fishing in all the water bodies have been prohibited and police continued miking to alert the people in all coastal districts.

Meanwhile, low-cost airlines IndiGo on Saturday suspended 23 flights from Dum Dum airport in view of fury of Bulbul, hours after Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) suspended shipping at the Kidderpore dock system as well as Haldia dock system till further order.

IndiGo suspended its flights to Ranchi, Patna, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Raipur, Chennai, Jaipur and other cities for the day due to stormy weather, which was gaining with the progress of the day.

The Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) has alerted all its docks and departments and asked them to take all precautionary measures to face any eventuality in apprehension of cyclonic storm Bulbul, that has already hit the coastal districts of West Bengal since Friday.

The KoPT as well as the state government have set up control rooms and monitoring the storm situation.

The dock systems in Kolkata and Haldia have taken all measures to face vagaries of nature with a control room set up this morning.

Pilot launches have been in operation at Haldia for shelter after night boating of Haldia inwards and outwards.

Shipping will remain suspended till weather improves, a KoPT official said today.

All vessels in the ports and at Sandheads have been advised to take appropriate safety measures.

Port users have been advised for safe parking/lashing of equipment at berths and back up area.

Ships at berth have been asked to strength mooring arrangements. 

Other measures are being taken for clearing roads in case of uprooting of trees.  

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