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Thursday 23 January 2020

Cyclone Bulbul hits Bengal, Odisha: 2 dead

While Cyclone Bulbul is yet to arrive with all its fury, an uprooted tree claimed a life in Bengal and a wall collapse killed one in Odisha

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has informed that Cyclone Bulbul has now intensified and is expected to reach the West Bengal coast between 8 PM and 10 PM today. This information was shared by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

In view of the devastation Cyclone Bulbul may cause, operations have been suspended between 6 PM and 12 PM on Saturday at the busy Kolkata airport. One death each has been reported from Bengal and Odisha due to heavy rain triggered by the very severe cyclonic storm Bulbul.

Rain lashed coastal West Bengal and uprooted trees leading to the death of one person in the city. In Odisha, information about the death of one person due to a rain-related wall collapse incident has been received from Kendrapara district and the matter is being probed, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said.

While there was a possibility of landslide due to this cyclone on the West Bengal coast on Saturday evening, such incidents have not been reported so far. The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), the country’s apex body to deal with any emergency, reviewed preparations to deal with the very severe Cyclone Bulbul over the Bay of Bengal on Saturday.

In Bhadrak, eight fishermen who were stranded on Kalibhanja Diha island after their boat was trapped were rescued by the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force team and local fishermen. It is raining heavily in Bhadrak accompanied by strong winds.

According to the IMD, Cyclone Bulbul has transformed into a very severe storm and it has reached very close to Odisha. This has resulted in heavy rains in many parts of Odisha in the last 24 hours. Cyclone Bulbul will intensify and move northwards in the next few hours. The storm will then move north-eastwards and then cross West Bengal, hitting the shores between Bangladesh’s Sagar Island and Khepupara.

Heavy rains caused havoc in several parts of Odisha on Saturday morning due to Cyclone Bulbul. Balasore, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada and Bhadrak districts of Odisha received heavy rains with winds. Even as Bulbul had a high chance of moving in the north-east direction, the Meteorological Department had issued an orange alert for the West Bengal coast on Friday.

Odisha Chief Secretary and IMD observing Cyclone Bulbul

According to the Meteorological Department, Paradip has recorded the highest rainfall of 150 mm in the last 24 hours while Chandbali has received 143 mm and Balasore 32 mm. Chief Secretary Asit Tripathi reviewed the situation on Saturday morning with HR Vishwas, director of Bhubaneswar Meteorological Center.

Tripathi said that the administration was monitoring the situation. According to the IMD, the storm is located 98 km east-northeast of Paradip in Odisha and 135 km south-southwest of Balasore.

Cyclone Bulbul estimated to weaken during landfall

According to Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, Cyclone Bulbul could make landfall between 6 and 7 in the evening on the international border between India and Bangladesh. Landfall is likely between the Sagar Island in West Bengal and Khepupura in Bangladesh.

It is expected that the storm may get weaker when it approaches the coast and is about to make landfall. Skymet meteorologists say that as it gets closer to the coasts, the energy will reduce. This phase will be marked by dry winds as the vertical wind shear increases.

Alert in many districts of Odisha and West Bengal

Although weakening, when the cyclonic storm reaches the ground between West Bengal and Bangladesh, the coastal parts will witness winds of speed 110 km/h to 120 km/h, which can be very dangerous for life and property.

The impact of the storm is already visible in many areas of Odisha. During the last twenty four hours, there has been severe rainfall in Paradip and Chandbali. Now stormy winds and heavy rains are expected in the rest of Odisha, especially in Puri, Paradip, Gopalpur, Balasore, Bhadrak and Baripada.

The coastal areas of West Bengal have been hit by the storm. Districts of adjoining West Bengal including Hooghly, Sagar, 24 Parganas, Digha, Midnapore and Kolkata have been put on alert in view of the storm situation, as there will be torrential rain with stormy winds in these parts which can cause major damage.

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