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2 die as Cyclone Remal tears through Bengal, heavy rain to continue

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Hemant Waje
Last updated on: May 27, 2024 14:39 IST
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At least two persons died in West Bengal and its coastal areas suffered extensive damage to infrastructure and property, as Cyclone Remal tore through the state and neighbouring Bangladesh with winds speeds reaching 135 km per hour, officials said Monday.

IMAGE: Commuters pass on a road amid rain after Cyclone Remal hit Kolkata. Photograph: ANI Photo

A man died of his injuries when a wall collapsed due to the relentless downpour on Sunday evening at the Bibir Bagan area of Entally in Central Kolkata, a state disaster management official said.

An eldery woman in the Mousuni Island near Namkhana adjacent to the Sunderbans delta also succumbed to injuries on Monday morning, following a tree collapse on her hut that resulted in the roof caving in, the official said.

After tearing through the coasts of Bangladesh and West Bengal, Cyclone Remal left a trail of destruction with pictures of devastation becoming evident across the state's coastal areas, with extensive damage to infrastructure and property, soon after daybreak on Monday.


Roofs of thatched huts were blown away, uprooted trees blocked roads in Kolkata as well as in the coastal districts, and electricity poles were knocked down causing significant power disruption in various parts of the state, including in the city's outskirts, the officials said.

While several pockets of Kolkata remained waterlogged on the morning of the first working day of the week, suburban train services from the Sealdah terminal station remained partially suspended for at least three hours, adding to commuters' woes, before operations limped back to normal.

Flight services at the Kolkata airport resumed on Monday morning after remaining suspended for 21 hours in view of Cyclone Remal. Airport sources, however, said it will take some more time for the situation to become normal.

IMAGE: A deserted view of the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata as flight operations were suspended due to cyclone Remal. Photograph: ANI Photo

The cyclone ravaged adjacent coasts of the state and Bangladesh between Sagar Island and Khepupara, near the southwest of Mongla in the neighbouring country, after its landfall process began at 8.30 pm on Sunday and lasted for a good four hours.

In a later update, the Met office said ‘Remal' weakened into a cyclonic storm at 5:30 am on Monday, about 70 km northeast of Canning and 30 km west-southwest of Mongla. The system is likely to gradually weaken further.

Efforts to restore normalcy are underway, with emergency services working to clear debris and restore power in the affected areas.

However, the relentless heavy rain is hampering these operations in most of the affected areas, the officials said.

The state government has initiated relief operations, providing food, drinking water and medical assistance to the people affected.

The authorities have urged residents to remain indoors and take necessary precaution till the heavy rain persists.

Kolkata recorded a rainfall of 146 mm in the period between 8.30 am on Sunday and 5.30 am on Monday, the weatherman said.

The metropolis logged a maximum wind speed of 74 kmph, while Dum Dum in the northern outskirts of the city recorded maximum wind speed of 91 kmph, the weather office said.

IMAGE: Indian Navy officials loading Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) material for the aftermath of Cyclone Remal. Photograph: ANI Photo

Several areas of Kolkata remained waterlogged, compounding the misery of the affected residents. Streets in significant pockets of Ballygunge, Park Circus, Dhakuria and Alipore in South Kolkata, Behala in the West and College Street, Thanthania Kali Bari, CR Avenue and Sinthi in the North remained inundated till late in the day.

Reports indicated that trees were uprooted in several areas, including Southern Avenue, Lake Place, Chetla, D L Khan Road, Dufferin Road, Ballygunge Road, New Alipore, Behala, Jadavpur, Golpark, Hatibagan, Jagat Mukherjee Park, College Street, and the adjoining Salt Lake area.

Around 68 trees were uprooted in Kolkata, with an additional 75 trees downed in the nearby Salt Lake and Rajarhat areas.

The cyclone caused rainfall with strong winds in areas such as Digha, Kakdwip and Jaynagar, which intensified on Monday morning.

Other places in south Bengal which received heavy rainfall during the period are Haldia (110 mm), Tamluk (70 mm) and Nimpith (70 mm), the Met office said.

The storm and accompanying heavy rain flooded homes and farmlands. In some regions, salt water from the adjoining Bay of Bengal breached embankments and gushed into farmlands, damaging crops.

The West Bengal government evacuated more than one lakh people from vulnerable areas ahead of the cyclone's landfall.

The North and South 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur districts reported widespread damage. News footage from the coastal resort town of Digha showed tidal waves crashing into a seawall, with surging waters sweeping fishing boats inland and inundating mud-and-thatch houses and farmlands.

The weatherman has forecast more rain in Kolkata and the southern districts including Nadia and Murshidabad, with one or two spells of intense downpour, along with gusty surface winds till Tuesday morning.

State Power Minister Aroop Biswas said the disruptions and damage to the power supply infrastructure caused by Cyclone Remal will be addressed soon.

He noted that there had been one or two incidents of power outages in the CESC area, due to fallen trees.

A total of 14 National Disaster Response Force teams were deployed for relief and restoration work across districts in south Bengal, including Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly.

Relief materials, including dry food and tarpaulins, have been dispatched to the coastal areas and quick response teams comprising trained civil defence volunteers and equipped vehicles are in place, the officials said.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Hemant Waje© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.