A cyclonic storm brewing in the Bay of Bengal is likely to cause heavy to very heavy rain, along with gusty wind, in various districts of south Bengal during the weekend, the Met department said on Thursday. The Indian Coast Guard has started pre-emptive actions for the safety of life and property at sea, tasking its ships and aircraft to relay weather warning to mariners, a defence official said.
Apprehending damage from the impending storm, the West Bengal government said it has decided to deploy two NDRF teams and two SDRF teams in the coastal areas People living in low-lying areas are being evacuated. The Met department said that the well-marked low pressure area over southeast Bay of Bengal is likely to concentrate into a deep depression and thereafter intensify into a cyclonic storm as the system moves northwestwards. It is expect to reach westcentral Bay of Bengal, off north Andhra Pradesh- south Odisha coasts around Saturday morning, and then re-curve in the north-northeastward direction towards the West Bengal coast.
Under its influence, heavy to very heavy rain is likely to occur at one or two places over East Midnapore and heavy rain in West Midnapore, North- and South-24 Parganas, Jhargram and Howrah on Saturday, the Met said. On Sunday, heavy to very heavy showers may batter one or two places in Kolkata, East and West Midnapore, North and South 24 Parganas, Jhargram and Howrah districts, the weatherman said.
Gusty wind with speed reaching 30 to 40 km per hour is likely on Saturday over North- and South-24 Parganas, East and West Midnapore, Jhargram and Howrah, The speed may increase to 40 to 50 kmph on Sunday, affecting Kolkata, the Met department stated. Areas adjoining the sea may experience wind at 60 to 70 kmph gusting up to 80 kmph, the Met department said, warning fishermen not to venture into the sea from Friday.
The weatherman further called for restriction of tourist movement at sea beaches. Noting that Coast Guard ships and aircrafts have begun urging fishermen who have ventured in the high seas to return to the safety of harbours, the defence official said that so far 55 boats have been directed back to the coast.
"Close liaison is being maintained by ICG with local authorities for keeping an account of fishing boats at sea," he explained. A state government official said that two NDRF teams will be deployed at Namkhana and Kakdwip, while two SDRF teams will be stationed at Patharpratima and Sagar island.
"About 11,000 people living in low-lying areas will be shifted from their residences as a precautionary measure," the official said. Multipurpose flood shelters, ambulances and other vehicles have been kept ready and "sufficient" relief materials, including rice, tarpaulin, clothes and blankets, stocked at vital locations, he pointed out.
The official said that control rooms have been opened for monitoring the situation.Farmers have been advised by the agriculture department to go for early harvest of crops, he added.