Bengal braces for impact as Fani rushes in from Odisha
Kolkata: The Alipore weather office predicted on Friday that districts of South Bengal including Kolkata will face the effects of cyclonic storm Fani, the brunt of which will hit the city between late Friday night and early Saturday morning, with wind speed hovering around 90 to 100 km/h. Heavy rainfall in various parts of the state will accompany the cyclone.
"The cyclonic storm which had hit the Odisha coast on Friday morning, has weakened in speed while travelling in the Northeast direction. It will hit the coastal areas of Bengal on Friday night at a wind speed of 90 to 100 km/h, which can go up to a maximum of 115 km/h. It will pass over other districts of South Bengal including Kolkata, gradually weakening along the way and will cross over to Bangladesh in the afternoon on Saturday. Weather conditions are expected to improve from Sunday," said Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, deputy director, India Meteorological Department, Calcutta.
The coastal areas of East Midnapore, West Midnapore and South 24-Parganas will be the worst affected by the cyclone.
The entire coastal belt of the state with districts like East Midnapore, South 24-Parganas, Hooghly, Jhargram, West Midnapore and Howrah, is expected to receive heavy rainfall particularly on Saturday.
Districts like Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum, North 24-Parganas, Burdwan East and West and Murshidabad will also receive moderate to heavy rainfall from Friday night till Saturday.
"North Bengal will also bear the brunt of the cyclonic storm on May 4, with heavy rainfall predicted in some parts. There are chances of kaccha houses collapsing, trees uprooting and waterlogging in urban areas due to the effect of the cyclone," the official warned.
With the weather office recommending total suspension of tourist activities from the evening of Thursday to May 4, popular coastal destinations in the state like Digha and Mandarmani wore a deserted look on Friday. The state Transport department arranged a number of buses from Digha on Friday morning to carry passengers to the city.
People living close to the river in Namkhana have been removed to cyclone centres and temporary relief camps set up by the district administration.