West Bengal, Odisha On Alert As Cyclone Bulbul Draws Near: 10 Points

Nellie Chapman
November 10, 2019

Authorities in India and Bangladesh have ordered the evacuation of almost half a million people as Cyclone Bulbul makes its way over the Bay of Bengal.

"The emergency control room phone numbers 1070 and (033) 22143526 are open 24x7 for the next three days", an official of the state disaster management department said. The system is likely to weaken gradually after landfall as a severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained speed of 110 to 120 kilometre per hour with gusts up to 135 kmph, the Met department said in Kolkata.

A total of 34 NDRF teams have been stationed in Odisha and West Bengal which are bearing the brunt of Bulbul. The cyclonic winds uprooted a large number of trees and electric poles, besides causing extensive damage to thatched structures and standing crops before veering away towards West Bengal, Jena said, according to PTI.

More than 60,000 people were moved away from the coast on the Indian side of the border.

Banerjee said in total 1.64.315 lakh people have been hit by the cyclone.

The low-lying areas of the coastal districts are "likely to be inundated by storm surge of 5-7 feet height above the normal astronomical tide" because of the fast-approaching cyclone.

"All preparations have ben done and our teams are in touch with the administrative authorities of both West Bengal and Odisha", he said.

Disaster Management Minister Enamul Haque says government offices have suspended work in 13 coastal districts.

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According to USA -based AccuWeather Inc., Bulbul strengthened from a deep depression into a tropical cyclone on Thursday morning, and by Friday afternoon had strengthened into a severe cyclone.

With winds about 130-140 kph, Bulbul is now the equivalent of a category one or two hurricane in the Atlantic, it said.

The coastal districts of Chattogram, Noakhali, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars will come under great danger signal No 9.

Operations at the country's two major ports - Mongla and Chittagong - have been suspended, Kamal said.

All the fishing boats, trawlers and maritime vessels have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice.

But the closure of transport hubs has left thousands of other people stranded on islands off the coast, including St Martin's Island in Bangladesh.

Local authorities ordered school buildings and mosques to be used as shelters in addition to dedicated cyclone shelters - raised concrete buildings that have been built over the past decades.

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