The weather department has forecast heavy rain and strong winds in West Bengal and the Northeast as Cyclone ‘Sitrang’ strengthens and moves towards Bangladesh.
An Indian Air Force (IAF) plane carrying 69 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel landed in Agartala today. A total of 119 NDRF personnel will be deployed in Tripura to combat any fallout that may arise from the storm.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), at 11:30 am this morning, the center of the storm was located about 300km south and southeast of Sagar Island in Bengal.
According to the IMD, the cyclone is likely to strengthen into a severe cyclone and pass over the Bangladesh coast between Tinkona Island and Sandwip, close to Barisal, in the early morning hours.
The weather ministry has issued warnings and warnings for offshore activities in the coastal districts of Bengal for today and tomorrow. These districts are North and South 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur.
“Due to the cyclone swirling over the West Central Bay of Bengal and adjacent to the East Central Bay of Bengal and it has the potential to strengthen into a severe cyclone, fishermen are advised not to set sail until the next day. October 25, 2022,” the IMD statement said.
The weather department’s advisory predicts major damage to thatched huts, minor impacts to roads and flooding in affected areas.
Authorities have deployed civilian security forces to protect the waterfront of South 24 Parganas and are also making arrangements to move people along the riverbank to safer areas.
The weather ministry has also forecasted heavy rain and strong winds over the northeast.
Tripura is likely to be hardest hit, with up to 200mm of maximum rainfall expected in 24 hours, the IMD said.
“Red warnings” have been issued for Tripura, Meghalaya and Assam, and “orange warnings” for Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. The weather office said winds will gust up to 60km/h in Tripura and Mizoram.
The Tripura government ordered all educational institutions to close until October 26 and allowed all government employees to work from home, except for those in emergency services.
According to IMD’s Regional Meteorological Center in Guwahati, square winds of 40-50km/h and gusts of up to 60km/h are likely over Mizoram and Tripura during today.
It also warns that wind speeds reaching 50-60km/h and gusts of up to 70km/h are likely over Tripura tomorrow. Mizoram, the southern part of Assam and east of Meghalaya and Manipur, is likely to experience winds of up to 55km/h and gusts of up to 65km/h tomorrow.