As the severe cyclonic storm Fani made landfall in neighbouring Odisha, heavy rainfall lashed Kolkata and Gangetic West Bengal on Friday.
The extremely severe cyclonic storm made landfall alittle after 10 a.m. It was located over 400 km southwest of Kolkata and over 350 km, southwest of the East Midnapore district sea resort Digha.
The Director General of Civil Aviation has issued a revised advisory to all airlines to discontinue flight operations from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport between Friday 3 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m.
“The outer ring cloud band has already reached the coastal areas of West Bengal and Kolkata, prompting rainfall. The rain intensity will be gradually increasing. As the cyclone comes closer to Bengal it will have a speed of 80-100 kmph,” weatherman J. K. Mukhopadhyay said.
In order to tackle any emergency situation, six teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in Jhargram district’s Sankrail, West Medinipur’s Narayangarh Block, in Ramnagar of EAst Medinipur district, Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas, Dhamakhali and Hasnabad of North 24 Parganas district.
According to the Met Office, the entire process of the cyclone entering into the land was completed by 11 a.m.
“It crossed Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali close to Puri with a maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph,” it said.
After the landfall, the system is very likely to continue to move north-northeastwards, and emerge into Gangetic West Bengal as a severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 90-100 Kmph gusting to 115 kmph by the early Saturday.
All precautionary measures like flight cancellation at airports, cancellation of trains and water transport services have been taken.
The state government and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has decided to shift people living in low lying areas to safer places.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has formed a team along with various departments like the Police and Disaster Management to monitor the measures being initiated to prevent any untoward happenings.
A toll-free helpline number 1070 has been shared for assistance.