May 11, 2022 4:47:53 am
A UNIFIED Command Centre has been set up in Lalbazar, the police headquarters in Kolkata, to tackle threats related to Cyclonic Storm Asani, officials said on Tuesday.
The team at this centre has started working in tandem with the staff of several departments, including the NDRF, Disaster Response Force, KMC, public works department, among others., the officials added.
The Command Centre has been set up to take immediate action in case of any untoward incident. As many as 15 disaster response teams and two NDRF teams have been deployed in Kolkata, while a total of 12 NDRF teams are working in South Bengal. There are three teams in Purba and Paschim Medinipur and four teams in the two Parganas districts to tackle emergency situations, officials said.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and the fire department has put its employees and disaster management teams on alert to tackle any possible fallout of Cyclone Asani. Leaves of all fire department personnel have been cancelled. A total of 16 teams, one for each borough of the KMC, have been formed and the members will be armed with machinery to clear branches of fallen trees, officials added.
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Meanwhile, the impact of the cyclonic storm is already visible in the state. It has been raining intermittently in Kolkata. People in coastal areas have been told not to venture into the sea. Strict surveillance is being maintained to prevent tourists from entering the sea. The NDRF is sounding sirens along the four-and-a-half-kilometer stretch of beach from New Digha to Old Digha, apart from alerting people through loudspeakers. The beaches at Digha, Mandarmani and Tajpur have been cordoned off.
According to the meteorological department, the cyclone is currently 210 km from Kankinara in Andhra Pradesh, 310 km from Visakhapatnam, 530 km from Gopalpur and km from Puri.
According to weather officials, it is likely to move nearly northwestwards and reach Westcentral Bay of Bengal close to Kakinada-Vishakhapatnam coasts by May 11 morning. Afterwards, it is very likely to recurve slowly north-northeastwards and move along Andhra Pradesh coast between Kakinada and Visakhapatnam and then emerge into Northwest Bay of Bengal off North Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts. It is likely to weaken gradually into a Cyclonic Storm by May 11 morning and into a depression by May 12 morning.
“The Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Asani’ (pronounced as Asani) over West Central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 25 kmph during past 06 hours and lay centered at 1130 hours IST of today, the 10th May, over westcentral Bay of Bengal near latitude 15.0°N and longitude 82.5°E, 210 km south-southeast of Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), 310 km south-southwest of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), 530 km southwest of Gopalpur (Odisha) and 630 km southwest of Puri (Odisha),” read bulletin issued by Regional Meteorological Department.
The Alipore Meteorological Department said on Tuesday that North Bengal will receive heavy to very heavy rain in the next 24 hours. Weather department said that due to the effect of ‘thunderstorm’, favorable environment for rain has been created in North Bengal. As a result, heavy rains may start from Thursday. The weather office has issued heavy rain warning in five districts of North Bengal – Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Coochbehar. Incidentally, these five districts of North Bengal are popular tourist destination.
The meteorological office said that south winds are blowing in North Bengal due to the cyclonic situation in the Bay of Bengal. That has created the possibility of rain in the districts of North Bengal.In Darjeeling and Kalimpong, heavy rain warnings are issued mainly for Thursday and Friday, but in the remaining three districts, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Coochbehar, heavy rain warnings were issued from Thursday to Sunday. However, light to moderate rains have been predicted for entire state till May 15, Sunday.
In the next 24 hours, Kolkata will receive one or two spells of rain/thundershower. Maximum and minimum temperature most likely be around 33°C and 26°C, it added.
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