HomeDisastersSevere Cyclonic Storm Remal Intensifies, Landfall Expected in Bangladesh and West Bengal

Severe Cyclonic Storm Remal Intensifies, Landfall Expected in Bangladesh and West Bengal

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a warning as a low-pressure system in the Bay of Bengal has intensified into severe cyclonic storm Remal. The storm is anticipated to make landfall on the coasts of Bangladesh and West Bengal early Sunday morning, May 26, bringing with it heavy rainfall and strong winds.

According to the IMD, Cyclone Remal is projected to move northward and then eastward, gaining further intensity over the east-central Bay of Bengal by Saturday morning. It is expected to track towards the coasts of Bangladesh and West Bengal, with a potential landfall between Sagar Island (India) and Khepupara (Bangladesh) by Saturday night.

The forecast indicates wind speeds reaching 110-120 kilometres per hour (kmph) gusting up to 135 kmph at the time of landfall. Heavy rainfall is anticipated in the coastal districts of West Bengal and north Odisha on May 26-27, with potentially extremely heavy precipitation in parts of northeast India on May 27-28.

A storm surge of up to 1.5 metres is expected to inundate low-lying areas of coastal West Bengal and Bangladesh during the cyclone’s landfall. The IMD has advised fishermen to avoid venturing into the north Bay of Bengal until the morning of May 27 for their safety.

For West Bengal, the IMD has issued a red alert for the coastal districts of South and North 24 Parganas, warning of heavy to very heavy rain accompanied by wind speeds reaching 80-90 kmph gusting to 100 kmph on May 26 and 27. An orange alert has been issued for Kolkata, Howrah, Nadia, and Purba Medinipur districts, forecasting heavy rain with similar wind speeds.

Heavy rainfall is also expected in Purba Medinipur on May 25, coinciding with elections in Tamluk and Kanti Lok Sabha constituencies. The rest of south Bengal can expect wind speeds of 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph, coupled with heavy rain.

The IMD has cautioned of potential localised flooding and significant damage to vulnerable structures, power and communication lines, roads, crops, and orchards in the affected areas. Residents have been advised to stay indoors and evacuate from unsafe structures.

In Odisha, authorities in four coastal districts – Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, and Mayurbhanj – have been alerted to take preparatory measures in anticipation of the storm’s impact. Wind speeds of 40-50 kmph with heavy to very heavy rain are expected in these districts, according to the weather bureau.

Remal marks the first pre-monsoon cyclone in the Bay of Bengal this season, with its name provided by Oman following the regional naming system for cyclones in the north Indian Ocean.

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