The weather department has predicted heavy rain and strong winds in West Bengal and the Northeast as cyclonic storm ‘Sitrang’ intensifies and moves towards Bangladesh.
At 3.17 am Monday, the cyclone was 520 km south of Sagar Island in Bengal and 670 km south-southwest of Barisal in Bangladesh, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).
“To move north-northeastwards and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 12 hrs. To cross the Bangladesh coast between Tinkona Island and Sandwip,” the IMD said.
“It is very likely to continue to move north-northeastwards and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 12 hours. Continuing to move north-northeastwards thereafter, it is very likely to cross Bangladesh coast between Tinkona Island and Sandwip close to Barisal around October 25 early morning,” it added.
The weather department has issued an advisory, warning against offshore activities in Bengal’s coastal districts today and tomorrow. These districts are North and South 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur.
“Due to the cyclonic storm over West Central Bay of Bengal and adjoining East Central Bay of Bengal and its likely intensification into a severe cyclonic storm, fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea till 25th October 2022,” its statement said.
The weather department’s advisory predicted major damage to thatched huts, minor impact on roads and waterlogging in the affected areas.
The administration has deployed civil security forces to protect the river banks of South 24 Parganas and is also making arrangements to move people along the river banks to safer areas.
The weather department has also predicted heavy rain and strong winds in the north-east region.
Tripura is likely to be the worst-affected, with maximum rainfall expected up to 200 mm in 24 hours, the IMD has said.
A “red alert” has been issued for Tripura, Assam, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland, and an “orange alert” for Arunachal Pradesh.
The Tripura government has ordered all educational institutions to remain shut till October 26.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is on standby to handle any emergency, officials said.