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Cyclone Remal: Landfall Process Begins Over West Bengal-Bangladesh Coasts

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By ETV Bharat English Team

Published : May 26, 2024, 11:00 AM IST

Updated : May 26, 2024, 10:19 PM IST

The IMD on Sunday evening reported that the landfall process of cyclone Remal began over West Bengal and Bangladesh. The landfall process of Remal, with its centre about 30 km from the coastline at 8.30pm, will continue for about four hours, it said.

According to the IMD, Cyclone Remal is likely to make landfall with a wind speed of 110-120 km per hour, gusting up to 135 kmph.
Cyclone Remal is now moving towards the coast of Bengal over North Bay of Bengal. (Photo: ETV Bharat)

Kolkata: The landfall of severe cyclonic storm 'Remal' commenced on Sunday evening between West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts with an intensity of 110 to 120 kmph, gusting to 135 kmph, the Met office said.

The landfall process of Remal, with its centre about 30 km from the coastline at 8.30pm, will continue for about four hours, it said. "The landfall process of severe cyclonic storm 'Remal' commenced over the adjacent coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh between Sagar Island and Khepupara close to the southwest of Mongla in the neighbouring country," the Met said.

Gale wind speed reaching 110 to 120 kmph, gusting to 135 kmph, was prevailing along and off West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts and north Bay of Bengal and is likely to continue for the next six hours and decrease thereafter, the Met added.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review response and preparedness for cyclonic storm Remal. The severe cyclone has led to heavy rains in the coastal districts of West Bengal and in Kolkata. Sources said Prime Minister Modi chaired the meeting to review the response and preparedness for cyclone Remal.

Remal is very likely to move nearly northwards, intensify further and cross Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal coasts between Sagar Island and Khepupara by Sunday midnight as a severe cyclonic storm with the maximum sustained wind speed of 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph, the weather office said.

Kolkata airport authorities have suspended flight operations for 21 hours from Sunday noon. Additionally, the Eastern and South Eastern railways cancelled several trains. State authorities have evacuated approximately 1.10 lakh people from coastal regions, including the Sundarbans and Sagar Island, to secure shelters, a senior official said in Kolkata.

To bolster rescue and relief efforts, 16 battalions each from the state disaster management and NDRF have been deployed in the coastal areas, the official added.

Bengal on the edge

Severe cyclonic storm 'Remal' has prompted the evacuation of over 1 lakh people from vulnerable areas of the state to safety. Bengal's coastal areas have been put on high alert as the cyclone, accompanied by high-velocity winds, has already triggered rain in several parts of the state.

By Sunday evening, the West Bengal government had evacuated around 1.10 lakh people from coastal and vulnerable areas and shifted them to cyclone shelters, schools, and colleges.

Four Odisha districts to receive heavy rainfall, preparations reviewed

The Met department has issued heavy rainfall warning for four districts of Odisha in the wake of Cyclone Remal approaching the coast. Under its impact, heavy rainfall of 7 to 11 cm has been predicted for Bhadrak, Balasore, Kendrapara and Mayurbhanj districts. Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Satyabrata Sahu reviewed the preparations made by the collectors of the four districts in view of the warning, officials said.

Around 20,000 fishing boats were safely berthed and collectors of the four districts were instructed to use Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire services in case a situation arises, they said. Sahu said that rainfall has already started in the coastal districts of Odisha since Sunday morning and will intensify, with the cyclone making landfall by midnight.

In view of the cyclone, the IMD has hoisted local cautionary signal number 3 at Paradip and Chandbali ports and distant warning signal number 2 (DW-II) for Gopalpur and Puri ports. According to the Met department, Cyclone Remal has strengthened into a severe cyclonic storm and is expected to hit the coasts of Bangladesh and West Bengal by Sunday midnight, with winds of 110-120 kmph and gusting up to 135 kmph. Remal, moving northward, is likely to intensify further before crossing the coasts between Sagar Island (West Bengal) and Khepupara (Bangladesh), near the southwest of Mongla port, around midnight on Sunday, the weather office reported.

Landfall with wind speed of 120 kmph

According to officials, the cyclone is likely to make landfall with a wind speed of 110-120 km per hour, gusting up to 135 kmph. The IMD, which issued an alert also warned of extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal and north Odisha on May 26-27. At the time of landfall on May 26 night, Cyclone Remal is expected to have a storm surge of up to 1.5 meters, inundating low-lying areas of coastal West Bengal and Bangladesh.

An orange alert for Kolkata, Howrah, Nadia, and Purba Medinipur districts for May 26 and 27 has been issued with a warning of 80 to 90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph wind speed and heavy to very heavy rain at one or two places. Heavy to very heavy rain is forecast over three coastal districts of South Bengal, two 24 Parganas and East Midnapore, Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly throughout the day on Sunday.

In north Odisha, the coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, and Kendrapara will receive heavy rain on May 26-27, while heavy precipitation is likely in Mayurbhanj on May 27.

The IMD also predicted that the cyclone will also cause rainfall and strong winds in coastal Bangladesh, Tripura, and some other parts of northeastern states. A low-pressure area that was first observed on May 22 in the Bay of Bengal has intensified into a more depressive system, now located in the North Bay of Bengal.

The primary regions affected are West Bengal, Coastal Bangladesh, Tripura and some other parts of north-eastern states. Residents in these areas, as well as in the neighbouring state of Tripura, are urged to brace for adverse weather conditions starting from May 26.

Scientists on why are cyclones intensifying so rapidly in recent years?

Scientists say cyclonic storms are intensifying rapidly and retaining their potency for longer periods due to warmer sea surface temperatures, a result of oceans absorbing most of the excess heat from greenhouse gas emissions. The past 30 years have seen the highest sea surface temperatures (SSTs) since records began in 1880.

According to senior IMD scientist D S Pai, warmer sea surface temperatures mean more moisture, which is favourable for the intensification of cyclones. Madhavan Rajeevan, former secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said a sea surface temperature of 27 degrees Celsius and above is needed for a low-pressure system to intensify into a cyclone. The sea surface temperature in the Bay of Bengal is around 30 degrees Celsius at present.

"The Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea are very warm at present, so a tropical cyclone can easily form," he said. But tropical cyclones are not only controlled by the ocean; the atmosphere also plays an important role, especially in terms of vertical wind shear a change in wind speed and/or wind direction with altitude.

"A cyclone will not intensify if the vertical wind shear is very large. It will weaken," Rajeevan said. Vishwas Chitale, Senior Programme Lead at the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW), said that cyclones in the Bay of Bengal have undergone rapid intensification in recent years.

"A CEEW study analysing the occurrence of tropical cyclones over the last five decades found that the districts on India's eastern coast are highly exposed to the impacts of cyclones. However, considering these risks, the government has been strengthening the adaptive capacity of local stakeholders to reduce the degree of loss through initiatives like the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP)," he said.

Chitale said their research indicates 100 per cent of the population exposed to cyclones now has access to early warning systems. "Building on the success of reducing cyclone-related fatalities, India needs to develop frameworks to climate-proof critical infrastructure."

According to a CEEW study, West Bengal has a high adaptive capacity against cyclones due to the cyclone multi-hazard early warning system, which is made available under the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) Phase II. The state's high teledensity ratio allows people to access early warnings via telephone or mobile.

Precaution, suspension of flights

Meanwhile, Kolkata Airport Authority on Saturday announced the suspension of flight operations for 21 hours due to Cyclone Remal's landfall. “In view of Cyclone Remal’s impact on the coastal region of West Bengal, including Kolkata, a meeting was held with the stakeholders and it has been decided to suspend the flight operations from 1200 IST on May 26 to 0900 IST on May 27, due to predicted heavy winds and heavy to very heavy rainfall at Kolkata,” Kolkata Airport Authority said in a statement.

Authorities in West Bengal and Tripura are on guard to prepare for any eventualities arising out of the cyclone. A National Disaster Response Force official in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Saturday said they are fully prepared to handle every kind of disaster.

"We are fully prepared for the cyclone. If the cyclone hits here, our soldiers are ready to deal with every kind of disaster... Our team is well-equipped. Our team is ready for tree falling or flood rescue etc... We are ready to deal with every situation," NDRF Inspector Zaheer Abbas was quoted as saying by the news agency ANI.

Authorities in Tripura said that they are closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with the IMD for further developments regarding the cyclonic storm. Given the current situation, all District Magistrates were advised to follow the India Meteorological Department's (IMD's) impact-based advisories and take appropriate measures.

West Tripura District Magistrate and Collector, Vishal Kumar said that NDRF and other teams are ready given the warning and is preparing to evacuate people from low-lying areas to safe shelters and start providing relief if needed. "IMD has issued an advisory. It includes all the districts in the south of Tripura. There will be strong winds and heavy rainfall from the evening of May 25... Due to the low-pressure zone in the Northeast region and Southeast Asia, cyclonic winds will move from the Bay of Bengal. We have alerted all the field officers... Workers of the forest department are also alert. We have NDRF and other teams ready. We are in regular contact with IMD," DM Vishal Kumar said.

IMD alert, suspension of train services

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has asked authorities to take guard to stave off possibilities of extensive damage to power and communication lines, standing crops, vulnerable structures and non-metalled roads across North and South 24 Parganas districts. The Met Office has also warned of unattached metal sheets flying off from structures, breaking of tree branches, uprooting of trees with major damage to banana and papaya trees, and dead limbs blowing off from trees.

The Eastern Railways has suspended all suburban train services along its Sealdah South section and Barasat-Hasnabad route from 11 PM of May 26 to 6 AM of May 27 as a precautionary measure. The Railways has already put all departments on extremely high alert, especially those under the Sealdah Division, where the railway network stretches deep into the districts of North and South 24 Parganas.

"All officials and engineers have been asked to report to duty from today, May 25 to May 27 and have been asked to be on high alert. To combat any eventuality and snapping of electrical overhead power lines, diesel-run locomotives have been kept on standby at Sealdah, DumDum, Barasat, Naihati, Ranaghat and other key stations," said a senior official of Sealdah Division. Vulnerable structures and billboards fixed in and around stations are being checked and if found unstable, will be removed, the official added.

Alert in Bihar

The Bihar Met Department has issued an alert on cyclone Remal. An official of the Met Department said that several districts of Bihar will witness moderate to heavy storms after cyclone Remal enters West Bengal, which will bring some respite from the scorching heat in the state. The Met Department has predicted rains in Saharsa, Madhepura, Banka, Jamui, Khagaria, Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Samastipur, Purnea, Araria, Supaul, Katihar, Kishanganj, Bhagalpur, Munger, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Darbhanga and Madhubani districts of Bihar. “People in these districts should stay alert and cautious in the wake of cyclone Remal,” the IMD said.“A deep pressure is forming over the eastern central region of the Bay of Bengal which is located about 440 km in the south-east direction of West Bengal. This deep depression turned into a cyclonic storm on May 25 which will pass through the coast of West Bengal on May 26,” an official said.

Read more

  1. Cyclone Remal To Hit Bengal Coast On Sunday: IMD
  2. Cyclone Remal: Kolkata Airport To Suspend Flight Operations For 21 Hours From Sunday Noon

Kolkata: The landfall of severe cyclonic storm 'Remal' commenced on Sunday evening between West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts with an intensity of 110 to 120 kmph, gusting to 135 kmph, the Met office said.

The landfall process of Remal, with its centre about 30 km from the coastline at 8.30pm, will continue for about four hours, it said. "The landfall process of severe cyclonic storm 'Remal' commenced over the adjacent coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh between Sagar Island and Khepupara close to the southwest of Mongla in the neighbouring country," the Met said.

Gale wind speed reaching 110 to 120 kmph, gusting to 135 kmph, was prevailing along and off West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts and north Bay of Bengal and is likely to continue for the next six hours and decrease thereafter, the Met added.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review response and preparedness for cyclonic storm Remal. The severe cyclone has led to heavy rains in the coastal districts of West Bengal and in Kolkata. Sources said Prime Minister Modi chaired the meeting to review the response and preparedness for cyclone Remal.

Remal is very likely to move nearly northwards, intensify further and cross Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal coasts between Sagar Island and Khepupara by Sunday midnight as a severe cyclonic storm with the maximum sustained wind speed of 110-120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph, the weather office said.

Kolkata airport authorities have suspended flight operations for 21 hours from Sunday noon. Additionally, the Eastern and South Eastern railways cancelled several trains. State authorities have evacuated approximately 1.10 lakh people from coastal regions, including the Sundarbans and Sagar Island, to secure shelters, a senior official said in Kolkata.

To bolster rescue and relief efforts, 16 battalions each from the state disaster management and NDRF have been deployed in the coastal areas, the official added.

Bengal on the edge

Severe cyclonic storm 'Remal' has prompted the evacuation of over 1 lakh people from vulnerable areas of the state to safety. Bengal's coastal areas have been put on high alert as the cyclone, accompanied by high-velocity winds, has already triggered rain in several parts of the state.

By Sunday evening, the West Bengal government had evacuated around 1.10 lakh people from coastal and vulnerable areas and shifted them to cyclone shelters, schools, and colleges.

Four Odisha districts to receive heavy rainfall, preparations reviewed

The Met department has issued heavy rainfall warning for four districts of Odisha in the wake of Cyclone Remal approaching the coast. Under its impact, heavy rainfall of 7 to 11 cm has been predicted for Bhadrak, Balasore, Kendrapara and Mayurbhanj districts. Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Satyabrata Sahu reviewed the preparations made by the collectors of the four districts in view of the warning, officials said.

Around 20,000 fishing boats were safely berthed and collectors of the four districts were instructed to use Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire services in case a situation arises, they said. Sahu said that rainfall has already started in the coastal districts of Odisha since Sunday morning and will intensify, with the cyclone making landfall by midnight.

In view of the cyclone, the IMD has hoisted local cautionary signal number 3 at Paradip and Chandbali ports and distant warning signal number 2 (DW-II) for Gopalpur and Puri ports. According to the Met department, Cyclone Remal has strengthened into a severe cyclonic storm and is expected to hit the coasts of Bangladesh and West Bengal by Sunday midnight, with winds of 110-120 kmph and gusting up to 135 kmph. Remal, moving northward, is likely to intensify further before crossing the coasts between Sagar Island (West Bengal) and Khepupara (Bangladesh), near the southwest of Mongla port, around midnight on Sunday, the weather office reported.

Landfall with wind speed of 120 kmph

According to officials, the cyclone is likely to make landfall with a wind speed of 110-120 km per hour, gusting up to 135 kmph. The IMD, which issued an alert also warned of extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal and north Odisha on May 26-27. At the time of landfall on May 26 night, Cyclone Remal is expected to have a storm surge of up to 1.5 meters, inundating low-lying areas of coastal West Bengal and Bangladesh.

An orange alert for Kolkata, Howrah, Nadia, and Purba Medinipur districts for May 26 and 27 has been issued with a warning of 80 to 90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph wind speed and heavy to very heavy rain at one or two places. Heavy to very heavy rain is forecast over three coastal districts of South Bengal, two 24 Parganas and East Midnapore, Kolkata, Howrah and Hooghly throughout the day on Sunday.

In north Odisha, the coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, and Kendrapara will receive heavy rain on May 26-27, while heavy precipitation is likely in Mayurbhanj on May 27.

The IMD also predicted that the cyclone will also cause rainfall and strong winds in coastal Bangladesh, Tripura, and some other parts of northeastern states. A low-pressure area that was first observed on May 22 in the Bay of Bengal has intensified into a more depressive system, now located in the North Bay of Bengal.

The primary regions affected are West Bengal, Coastal Bangladesh, Tripura and some other parts of north-eastern states. Residents in these areas, as well as in the neighbouring state of Tripura, are urged to brace for adverse weather conditions starting from May 26.

Scientists on why are cyclones intensifying so rapidly in recent years?

Scientists say cyclonic storms are intensifying rapidly and retaining their potency for longer periods due to warmer sea surface temperatures, a result of oceans absorbing most of the excess heat from greenhouse gas emissions. The past 30 years have seen the highest sea surface temperatures (SSTs) since records began in 1880.

According to senior IMD scientist D S Pai, warmer sea surface temperatures mean more moisture, which is favourable for the intensification of cyclones. Madhavan Rajeevan, former secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said a sea surface temperature of 27 degrees Celsius and above is needed for a low-pressure system to intensify into a cyclone. The sea surface temperature in the Bay of Bengal is around 30 degrees Celsius at present.

"The Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea are very warm at present, so a tropical cyclone can easily form," he said. But tropical cyclones are not only controlled by the ocean; the atmosphere also plays an important role, especially in terms of vertical wind shear a change in wind speed and/or wind direction with altitude.

"A cyclone will not intensify if the vertical wind shear is very large. It will weaken," Rajeevan said. Vishwas Chitale, Senior Programme Lead at the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW), said that cyclones in the Bay of Bengal have undergone rapid intensification in recent years.

"A CEEW study analysing the occurrence of tropical cyclones over the last five decades found that the districts on India's eastern coast are highly exposed to the impacts of cyclones. However, considering these risks, the government has been strengthening the adaptive capacity of local stakeholders to reduce the degree of loss through initiatives like the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP)," he said.

Chitale said their research indicates 100 per cent of the population exposed to cyclones now has access to early warning systems. "Building on the success of reducing cyclone-related fatalities, India needs to develop frameworks to climate-proof critical infrastructure."

According to a CEEW study, West Bengal has a high adaptive capacity against cyclones due to the cyclone multi-hazard early warning system, which is made available under the National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project (NCRMP) Phase II. The state's high teledensity ratio allows people to access early warnings via telephone or mobile.

Precaution, suspension of flights

Meanwhile, Kolkata Airport Authority on Saturday announced the suspension of flight operations for 21 hours due to Cyclone Remal's landfall. “In view of Cyclone Remal’s impact on the coastal region of West Bengal, including Kolkata, a meeting was held with the stakeholders and it has been decided to suspend the flight operations from 1200 IST on May 26 to 0900 IST on May 27, due to predicted heavy winds and heavy to very heavy rainfall at Kolkata,” Kolkata Airport Authority said in a statement.

Authorities in West Bengal and Tripura are on guard to prepare for any eventualities arising out of the cyclone. A National Disaster Response Force official in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Saturday said they are fully prepared to handle every kind of disaster.

"We are fully prepared for the cyclone. If the cyclone hits here, our soldiers are ready to deal with every kind of disaster... Our team is well-equipped. Our team is ready for tree falling or flood rescue etc... We are ready to deal with every situation," NDRF Inspector Zaheer Abbas was quoted as saying by the news agency ANI.

Authorities in Tripura said that they are closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with the IMD for further developments regarding the cyclonic storm. Given the current situation, all District Magistrates were advised to follow the India Meteorological Department's (IMD's) impact-based advisories and take appropriate measures.

West Tripura District Magistrate and Collector, Vishal Kumar said that NDRF and other teams are ready given the warning and is preparing to evacuate people from low-lying areas to safe shelters and start providing relief if needed. "IMD has issued an advisory. It includes all the districts in the south of Tripura. There will be strong winds and heavy rainfall from the evening of May 25... Due to the low-pressure zone in the Northeast region and Southeast Asia, cyclonic winds will move from the Bay of Bengal. We have alerted all the field officers... Workers of the forest department are also alert. We have NDRF and other teams ready. We are in regular contact with IMD," DM Vishal Kumar said.

IMD alert, suspension of train services

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has asked authorities to take guard to stave off possibilities of extensive damage to power and communication lines, standing crops, vulnerable structures and non-metalled roads across North and South 24 Parganas districts. The Met Office has also warned of unattached metal sheets flying off from structures, breaking of tree branches, uprooting of trees with major damage to banana and papaya trees, and dead limbs blowing off from trees.

The Eastern Railways has suspended all suburban train services along its Sealdah South section and Barasat-Hasnabad route from 11 PM of May 26 to 6 AM of May 27 as a precautionary measure. The Railways has already put all departments on extremely high alert, especially those under the Sealdah Division, where the railway network stretches deep into the districts of North and South 24 Parganas.

"All officials and engineers have been asked to report to duty from today, May 25 to May 27 and have been asked to be on high alert. To combat any eventuality and snapping of electrical overhead power lines, diesel-run locomotives have been kept on standby at Sealdah, DumDum, Barasat, Naihati, Ranaghat and other key stations," said a senior official of Sealdah Division. Vulnerable structures and billboards fixed in and around stations are being checked and if found unstable, will be removed, the official added.

Alert in Bihar

The Bihar Met Department has issued an alert on cyclone Remal. An official of the Met Department said that several districts of Bihar will witness moderate to heavy storms after cyclone Remal enters West Bengal, which will bring some respite from the scorching heat in the state. The Met Department has predicted rains in Saharsa, Madhepura, Banka, Jamui, Khagaria, Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Samastipur, Purnea, Araria, Supaul, Katihar, Kishanganj, Bhagalpur, Munger, Sitamarhi, Sheohar, Darbhanga and Madhubani districts of Bihar. “People in these districts should stay alert and cautious in the wake of cyclone Remal,” the IMD said.“A deep pressure is forming over the eastern central region of the Bay of Bengal which is located about 440 km in the south-east direction of West Bengal. This deep depression turned into a cyclonic storm on May 25 which will pass through the coast of West Bengal on May 26,” an official said.

Read more

  1. Cyclone Remal To Hit Bengal Coast On Sunday: IMD
  2. Cyclone Remal: Kolkata Airport To Suspend Flight Operations For 21 Hours From Sunday Noon
Last Updated : May 26, 2024, 10:19 PM IST

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