Cyclone Remal: Heavy rainfall and strong winds expected

| Updated: 27 May, 2024 5:37 pm IST

NEW DELHI: West Bengal is preparing for Cyclone Remal, which has become a severe cyclonic storm. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts that this cyclone, the first in the Bay of Bengal this pre-monsoon season, will make landfall between West Bengal’s Sagar Island and Bangladesh’s Khepupara on Sunday night.

The IMD forecasts that Cyclone Remal will intensify further and hit the West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Island and Khepupara, with wind speeds of 110 to 120 mph, gusting to 135 mph around midnight.

Madhavan Rajeevan, former secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said a sea surface temperature of 27 degrees Celsius or higher is needed for a cyclone to form. The Bay of Bengal is around 30 degrees Celsius, making cyclone formation likely.

“The Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea are very warm at present, so a tropical cyclone can easily form,” he said.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 12 teams, with five more on standby. Rescue teams from the Army, Navy, and Coast Guard, along with ships and aircraft, are also on standby. Alerts and advisories are being issued to the ports of Kolkata and Paradip. The Ministry of Power has emergency teams ready for immediate power restoration.

The National Crisis Management Committee has urged the State Government and Central Agencies to take all steps to minimize the loss of lives and damage to property and infrastructure, including power and telecom networks.

A storm surge of about 1 meter above the astronomical tide is likely to flood low-lying areas of West Bengal. In Bangladesh, the storm surge could be more severe, rising 3-4 meters above the astronomical tide, likely flooding low-lying areas at landfall.

Light to moderate rainfall is expected over West Bengal, Odisha, and Northeast India. Heavy rains are forecast for Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, North Coastal Odisha, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, and Tripura on May 26-27. Extremely heavy rainfall is likely over Assam and Meghalaya on May 27-28, Arunachal Pradesh on May 28, and Mizoram and Tripura on May 27.

Squally winds (40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph) are expected from the evening of May 25 to the morning of May 27 in West Bengal, South Assam, and Meghalaya. Winds reaching 50-60 kmph, gusting to 70 kmph, may affect Mizoram and Tripura on May 27.

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