Cyclone ‘Kyant’ in Bay of Bengal is gradually moving closer to the Indian coast. With this, Andhra Pradesh has been put on alert, but parts of West Bengal and Odisha are likely to be spared.
Cyclone Kyant, which means crocodile in the Mon language spoken in parts of Myanmar and Thailand, is also expected to dump heavy rains along the coast of the two states.
The cyclone is expected to make landfall over Andhra coast, somewhere between Ongole and Nellore. ‘Kyant’ is presently moving in West-Southwest direction in East-central Bay of Bengal and lies about 530 km East-Southeast of Gopalpur, 610 km East-Southeast of Visakhapatnam and 850 km East-Northeast of Machilipatnam.
Indian Meteorological Department’s cyclone warning division’s scientists said the cyclonic depression was located 540 km North-west of Port Blair at around 5.30 am on Tuesday. The cyclone would reach the west-central area of Bay of Bengal which is close to the Andhra Pradesh–Odisha coastline by Friday.
The speed of wind would be around 45-55 km per hour gusting up to 65 km per hour along the coastal areas of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coasts. Sea conditions have also become rough and IMD has advised fishermen to avoid the sea for the next 2-3 days.
Though Kyant is not expected to be as devastating as earlier cyclones such as Aila, Phailin and Hudhud, fishermen have been warned not to venture out into the sea. Phailin had killed 36 people in Odisha in 2013.
Cyclones Phailin and Hudhud battered the Odisha coast during the post-monsoon period in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The IMD officials were yet to ascertain the exact place and time the cyclone would hit the country’s Eastern coast, private weather forecasting agency Skymet said that it could hit North Odisha.
However, the organisers of Kali Puja in the city have now heaved a sigh of relief. The IMD has predicted that the heavy rainfall will give Kolkata a miss this Kali Puja. Some parts of the West Bengal, especially in North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly will see medium rainfall from Thursday and Friday.