Cyclone Remal kills 2 in Bengal, weakens after causing heavy damage

In its latest update on Monday, the IMD said Remal has weakened into a "cyclonic storm" and is likely to gradually weaken even further during the day.
Cyclone Remal kills 2 in Bengal, weakens after causing heavy damage
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Two people were killed in West Bengal as cyclone Remal left a trail of widespread destruction across West Bengal after making landfall between the coasts of the state and Bangladesh on Sunday night. Flight operations have resumed at the Kolkata airport after they were suspended on Sunday noon.

In its latest update on Monday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said Remal has weakened into a "cyclonic storm" and is likely to gradually weaken even further during the day.

Besides the casualty, another individual was injured after being hit by debris in the Gosaba area of the Sundarbans.

Authorities evacuated more than 1 lakh people from the vulnerable areas in West Bengal.

The cyclone made landfall on Sunday at around 8.30 pm between the state's Sagar Island and Khepupara in Bangladesh, with wind speeds reaching up to 135 kmph.

Flights services from the Kolkata airport resumed on Tuesday after remaining suspended for 21 hours. The first plane to depart on Monday was IndiGo’s Kolkata-Port Blair flight at 8.59 am, while the first one to land in Kolkata at 9.50 am was a SpiceJet flight from Guwahati, PTI news agency quoted an Airports Authority of India (AAI) top official as saying. The last flight to depart from Kolkata airport on Sunday was at 12.16 pm.

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Cyclone Remal kills 2 in Bengal, weakens after causing heavy damage

As per the latest IMD bulletin, cyclone Remal is "likely to move north-northeastwards and gradually weaken into a cyclonic storm during next three hours".

"Thereafter, it would move northeastward and gradually weaken further," it said in a tweet.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting on Sunday evening to review the response and preparedness for cyclone Remal. He was briefed that the National Crisis Management Committee was in regular contact with the Bengal state government.

A red alert has been issued for extremely heavy rain in seven districts of Assam, and an 'orange alert' in 11 districts, as cyclone Remal is predicted to move towards the northeast on Monday while it gradually weakens into a cyclonic storm. The IMD has warned of extensive rain over Assam and other northeastern states on Monday and Tuesday, while squally winds of 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph are expected over South Assam and Meghalaya today.

On Monday morning, the Indian Coast Guard said it was "closely monitoring the landfall of cyclone Remal with disaster response team, ships, hovercraft standby at short notice to respond to post-impact challenges".

"Follow official advisories, Stay informed and stay safe," it said in a tweet.

In West Bengal's North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts, roofs of thatched houses were blown away, electric poles twisted and trees uprooted in several areas. Meanwhile, streets and homes in low-lying areas adjoining Kolkata were inundated.

The West Bengal government shifted around 1.10 lakh people from coastal and vulnerable areas to cyclone shelters, schools and colleges by Sunday afternoon. Evacuation efforts focused on relocating people from South 24 Parganas district, especially Sagar Island, Sundarbans and Kakdwip.

Digha, Kakdwip and Jaynagar are expected to witness intensified rain and winds on Monday. The IMD's eastern regional head Somnath Dutta indicated that southern Bengal districts would experience increasing winds and downpour.

In Bangladesh, over 8 lakh people were evacuated from low-lying areas along the country's southwestern coast. Officials said a man was swept away by the tidal surges in Patuakhali, while several people were also injured.

Bangladesh's coastal districts which are currently under cyclone threat are Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Jhalakathi, Barguna, Barisal, Bhola, Patuakhali, Chittagong, Cox's Bazar, Feni, Comilla, Noakhali, Lakshmipur and Chandpur.

Source: India Today

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