Cyclone Remal: Visuals from Sundarbans, South 24 Parganas in Bengal as state braces for storm

Severe cyclonic storm to make landfall today night at Bengal, Bangladesh coasts

PTI05_24_2024_000222A Clouds hover over 'Muri Ganga' River ahead of the landfall of cyclone 'Remal', in South 24 Parganas district | PTI

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has alerted that Cyclone Remal, which has intensified into a Severe Cyclonic Storm, will cross Bangladesh and West Bengal coasts on Sunday midnight, with a maximum wind speed of 110-120 kmph.

The cyclone will likely make its landfall between West Bengal's Sagar Island and Bangladesh's Khepupara on Sunday night, the IMD said, adding that the cyclone is centred approximately 290 km south-southeast of Khepupara and 270 km south-southeast of Sagar Island.

This is the first cyclone in the Bay of Bengal this pre-monsoon season.

The weather department has also warned of extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal and north Odisha. 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.

A red alert is in place in the coastal districts of South and North 24 Parganas in West Bengal on Sunday and an orange alert is in place for Kolkata, Howrah, Nadia, and Purba Medinipur districts. A warning of wind speeds of 80 to 90 kmph, gusting to 100 kmph, and heavy to very heavy rainfall is also at places on Sunday and Monday.

In north Odisha, the coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, and Kendrapara will receive heavy rains on May 26-27, while heavy precipitation is likely in Mayurbhanj on May 27.

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

NDRF deployed 

A team of NDRF has been deployed in the state. NDRF Inspector Zaheer Abbas said the team is fully prepared to handle every kind of disaster. "We are fully prepared for the cyclone, including rescue operations," Abbas told ANI.

Meanwhile, IMD Agartala Director Partha Roy told ANI though the cyclone warning is till Monday, it can be extended. "The impact of the cyclone will seen at the lowland areas," he said.

To affect Sundarbans

The cyclone is likely to impact the Sundarbans mangrove forest, one of the largest in the world, renowned for its diverse fauna, including 260 bird species, the Bengal tiger, and other threatened species such as the estuarine crocodile and the Indian python.

In the past, cyclones like Bulbul and Fani have severely impacted the habitat and highly sensitive ecosystem of the great mangrove forest.

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