1 lakh evacuated along coast as cyclone Remal makes landfall | India News

KOLKATA: Over one lakh residents from low-lying coastal zones were evacuated to storm shelters by Sunday afternoon before Cyclone Remal made landfall around 9pm along coasts of Bengal and Bangladesh – between Sagar Island and Khepupara – around 100km from Kolkata.
The cyclone, categorised as “very severe”, brought wind speeds ranging from 110kmph to 120kmph, with gusts up to 135kmph, accompanied by heavy rainfall.
In Kolkata, it disrupted life, causing moderate rainfall of 23.9mm, with forecasts predicting heavy rain between 70mm and 110mm Monday. Transportation services, including air, rail, and road, experienced disruptions. Kolkata airport suspended operations for 21 hours, affecting 394 flights, while Eastern and South Eastern Railways cancelled several trains. Kolkata port also suspended cargo and container handling for 12 hours.
Relief materials, such as dry food and tarpaulins, have been sent to coastal areas. Quick response teams, consisting of trained civil defence volunteers and vehicles, have been deployed and are ready for action.
Indian Coast Guard and Navy deployed measures to ensure safety of those at sea, including broadcasting alerts to fishing vessels and deploying ships equipped with disaster relief and medical supplies.
India Meteorological Department’s eastern regional head Somnath Dutta cautioned about surface wind speeds reaching 135kmph and warned of potential damage, although less severe compared to Cyclone Amphan in 2020.
Bengal minister Akhil Giri affirmed the state’s readiness, citing deployment of 117 flood centres in Sundarbans and the use of school buildings for evacuee accommodation. “People have been evacuated from Ganga Sagar, Namkhana, Kakdwip, Gosaba, Basanti, Canning and other parts of Sundarbans,” South 24 Parganas district magistrate Sumit Gupta said.
As Cyclone Remal continued its course, authorities remained vigilant. Aircraft were safely parked inside hangars at the airport, with their wheels secured with chains. Passenger trolleys were securely tied with ropes in the bay, and sandbags were placed to reinforce glass doors.
Kolkata MC and resident welfare associations took precautionary measures, urging residents to secure loose items, keep vehicles parked indoors, and avoid vulnerable structures.
Kolkata mayor Firhad Hakim said teams are on standby, equipped with tree-cutters, dumpers, bulldozers, & cranes to remove uprooted trees.
(Inputs from Aheli Banerjee, Saikat Ray, Suman Chakraborti, Monotosh Chakraborty, Suman Mandal, Sarthak Ganguly)

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