One death each has been reported from West Bengal and Odisha due to heavy rainfall triggered by the very severe cyclonic storm Bulbul.
In Odisha, squally weather with wind speed touching 60 kmph continued to prevail over Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Balasore, Bhadrak and Puri districts under the impact of the cyclone over northwest and adjoining westcentral Bay of Bengal on Saturday.
Cyclone Bulbul made landfall at Sagar Islands in the Sunderbans area of West Bengal late on Saturday with winds speeds crossing over 100 kmph. Fearing widespread damage in the coastal areas of Bengal, the administration has moved over 1.20 lakh people from North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas districts. All flight operations in Kolkata airport have been suspended for 12 hours. “Due to impact of Cyclone bulbul with strong cross winds and likely wind shear in approaches, flight operations at Kolkata airport will be discontinued from 6 p.m. on Saturday to 6 a.m. on Sunday,” an airport official said.
People in large areas of Sagar and other smaller islands of the Sunderbans archipelago fear inundation due to the cyclone. Schools and colleges in the coastal districts have been closed.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is monitoring the situation, urged people to remain indoors and not to venture out.
The storm is being tracked by the Doppler Weather Radars at Odisha’s Gopalpur, Paradip and at Kolkata, in addition to other observing platforms, a department bulletin said.
According to official reports, Paradip recorded 159 mm rainfall, while Chandbali in Odisha’s Bhadrak district recorded 150 mm rainfall during the past 24 hours.
In Kolkata, the wind speed was above 50 kmph and there were reports of several trees being uprooted. In Ballygunje area of the city, one person was reported dead when a tree fell on him on Saturday morning.
In Odisha, many uprooted trees blocked roads in the seaside areas of Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts. In Kendrapara district, one person was killed in a rain-related wall collapse incident.
In Kolkata, the Municipal Corporation has put in place a special team to remove water from low lying areas.
Over 1,000 persons were evacuated to safer places from Odisha’s coastal villages.
The IMD has predicted light to moderate rainfall at most places over north coastal districts of Odisha with isolated heavy to very heavy fall over Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts and heavy fall at isolated places over Jajpur district on Saturday.