Cyclone Remal: Over 1 lakh people in Bengal's coastal areas shifted to secure shelters

To bolster the efforts, 16 battalions each from the state disaster management and NDRF have been deployed in the coastal areas, enhancing rescue and relief operations.
Last Updated : 26 May 2024, 14:33 IST
Last Updated : 26 May 2024, 14:33 IST

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Kolkata: As part of precautionary measures to combat the impending impact of severe cyclone 'Remal', the West Bengal government has evacuated approximately 1.10 lakh people from coastal regions, including the Sundarbans and Sagar Island, to secure shelters, a senior official said on Sunday.

To bolster these efforts, 16 battalions each from the state disaster management and NDRF have been deployed in the coastal areas, enhancing rescue and relief operations, the official added.

"Evacuation efforts have concentrated on relocating 1.10 lakh people from coastal regions to safe shelters, with a significant number hailing from South 24 Parganas district, notably Sagar Island, Sunderbans, and Kakdwip," the official informed PTI.

Furthermore, the state government has distributed approximately 5.40 lakh tarpaulins and ensured the availability of dry rations, powdered milk, and drinking water pouches across these districts, ensuring preparedness for the impending crisis.

"Our district management teams remain fully engaged, operating round-the-clock to address the evolving situation," the official reassured.

A centralised control unit has been established at the state secretariat to monitor the situation closely.

According to the Meteorological department, 'Remal' has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and is poised to make landfall between Bangladesh and the adjoining West Bengal coasts by midnight on Sunday, with sustained wind speeds ranging from 110-120 km per hour and gusts reaching up to 135 kmph.

Anticipating the cyclone's impact, coastal districts are expected to experience extremely heavy rainfall, while Kolkata and its environs may encounter heavy to very heavy rainfall.

Authorities in the coastal areas, especially in Digha, Shankarpur, and Tajpur, have issued advisories urging tourists to vacate hotels and refrain from venturing into the seas as a precautionary measure.

"We have deployed our state and district disaster units along with teams from NDRF in these popular sea beach destinations. The majority of hotels have been evacuated, and access to the sea has been restricted. Comprehensive arrangements have been put in place," the official added.

Expressing concern, Kolkata mayor Firhad Hakim convened a meeting with officials in the afternoon to assess preparedness for the impending cyclone. He added that approximately 15,000 civic employees have been mobilised to address post-cyclone scenarios.

"We are apprehensive as this storm is expected to impact Kolkata. As per the latest information from the Meteorological Office, the storm is anticipated to bring winds of 60 to 80 kmph," Hakim said.

He elaborated on the deployment plan, mentioning that 15,000 workers, including 13,000 permanent staff and 338 drainage workers, have been dispatched to the streets. Additionally, he convened a meeting with various levels of directorate generals to coordinate efforts effectively.

Speaking to PTI, Hakim pledged to remain vigilant throughout the night, personally overseeing the situation as it unfolds.

The Kolkata Police has also announced two helpline numbers - 9432610428 and 9432610429 - for its citizens.

Published 26 May 2024, 14:33 IST

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