Odisha, Bengal brace up as possible cyclone inches closer
Bhubaneswar, Oct 21: Odisha is bracing for heavy rainfall early next week under the impact of a possible cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, which is likely to skirt the state and move towards West Bengal and Bangladesh, the IMD said on Friday.
The West Bengal government has initiated the process of evacuating people from low-lying areas in several districts, officials said. The weather system, which is presently in the form of a low pressure area over the North Andaman sea and adjoining areas, is likely to take shape of a depression on Saturday and a deep depression on Sunday, before intensifying into a cyclonic storm on Monday, and move in north and north-east direction towards West Bengal and Bangladesh, the IMD said.
The cyclonic storm is expected to be christened 'Sitrang’, as suggested by Thailand. Odisha’s Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Pramila Mallick said that instructions have been issued to all the districts and coastal region authorities to deal with any eventuality.
The system is likely to trigger heavy rainfall when it crosses parallel to the state’s coast on Monday. Mallick said personnel of the fire service department, the ODRAF and NDRF are on standby for any emergency situation.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal government has begun the process of evacuating people from low-lying areas in Purba Medinipore, South 24 Parganas and Sundarbans to safe shelters in the wake of the cyclone forecast, a senior official said.
"Leaves of all district magistrates, SPs and emergency department workers have been cancelled as a part of the preparedness for the possible cyclone,” he said. Tarapauline, dry food and medicines have also been adequately stocked in these districts, the official said.
The Kolkata Police's disaster management team has been asked to work in tandem with Kolkata Municipal Corporation officials to address any emergency-like situation, he added. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has convened an emergency meeting at state secretariat 'Nabanna' on Friday to take stock of the preparedness.