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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Cyclone Remal disrupts normal life in Bengal, uproots trees, knocks down electric poles


Overnight heavy rains and winds gusting up to 135 km per hour triggered by severe Cyclone Remal disrupted normal life in West Bengal destroying thatched houses, knocking down electric poles in Kolkata and several other districts on Monday.

Initial reports said several people were injured due to house collapse or when hit by flying debris as Remal made its landfall between the coasts of West Bengal and adjoining Bangladesh. The state government has already shifted to safer places around 1.10 lakh people living in low-lying areas.

According to the Regional Meteorological Centre here, the landfall process began around 8–30 pm on Sunday and ended in the early hours of Monday between Sagar Island in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district and Khepupara of Bang near Mongla.

It brought in heavy rains, with Kolkata experiencing 146 mm of showers and 100–110 km winds that gusted up to 135 km per hour, which uprooted trees and snapped overhead power cables. One person was injured in the city from a wall collapse.

Areas in South Kolkata like Dhakuria, Park Circus, and Ballygunge were under knee-deep water, while Metro railway shades were blown away in Tollygunge and Kavi Nazrul stations.

Services of the North-South Metro railway line in Kolkata were affected as the tracks between Park Street and Esplanade stations were waterlogged.

“Due to waterlogging on tracks in between Park Street and Esplanade stations, truncated services are being run in between Dakshineswar and Girish Park as well as Kavi Subhash and Mahanayak Uttam Kumar stations from 07.51 hrs (on Monday),” the Metro Railway spokesperson said.

Efforts were on to remove water from the track bed.

Railway services have already been suspended as a precautionary measure in the suburban Sealdah South Section, while the NSCBI airport was also shut down between 12 noon on Sunday and 9 am on Monday. Altogether, 340 domestic and 54 international flights were cancelled.

Reports from North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts said many thatched houses were flattened due to the storm, which also twisted electric posts.

Giant tidal waves were seen in the Bay of Bengal as the authorities prohibited the handful of remaining tourists from going near the sea in Digha, Mandarmoni, and other popular resorts in the coastal belt.

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