Cyclone warning for West Bengal-Orissa coasts

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New Delhi, Nov 15 (UNI) A severe cyclone storm 'SIDR', with a wind speed of 200 kmph, is likely to cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coast and hit Sagar Islands around midnight tonight.

West Bengal, Orissa and Andaman and Nicobar Islands have been alerted.

The likely affected districts are Midnapore and South 24 Parganas (WB) and Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur (Orissa), ''Paramilitary forces have also been contacted for deployment and relief work,'' Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters after the Union Cabinet meeting that took up the matter as an emergency measure.

According to the latest message received from the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the system lay centred at 0830 hrs today over east central and adjoining west and north Bay of Bengal about 530 km south of Kolkota.

''It is likely to intensify further and move in a northerly direction,'' Mr Dasmunsi said.

He said the Ministry of Home Affairs had issued advisory to West Bengal, Orissa and Andaman and Nicobar Islands with information to Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andhra Pradesh to keep a close watch.

They have also been requested to take appropriate precautionary measures, keeping the Ministry informed about any development.

The Ministry has also contacted relief commissioners of West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, informing them about the latest status.

It has also contacted commandants of BSF, NDRF Kolkata and CISF battalion at Mundali (Orissa) for deployment and relief work.

Ministries of Railways, Road Transport and Highways, Communications and Power have also been requested to take appropriate action in mobilising regional and local officers.

Control Room of the Ministry is constantly monitoring the situation by keeping in touch with the IMD and the States and Union Territories concerned, he said.

Eds: here pick up suitably from earlier series.

UNI

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