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Cyclonic storm ‘Remal’: Odisha, West Bengal and Bangladesh on high alert

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an alert as a deep depression over the Bay of Bengal has intensified, expected to make landfall on the coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh by midnight on Sunday, May 26. This system, named ‘Remal,’ is forecast to bring severe weather conditions, marking the first pre-monsoon cyclone in the Bay of Bengal this season.

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As of mid-morning on Saturday, the storm system was centred approximately 420 kilometres south of Khepupara, Bangladesh, moving northwards at 11 kilometres per hour. The IMD predicts that the depression will strengthen into a cyclonic storm by Saturday evening and further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by early Sunday morning.

Cyclonic storm 'Remal': Odisha, West Bengal and Bangladesh on high alert

The anticipated landfall will occur between Sagar Island in West Bengal and Khepupara in Bangladesh, with wind speeds expected to reach 110-120 kilometres per hour, gusting up to 135 kilometres per hour. The IMD has warned of extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal and north Odisha on May 26-27, with significant precipitation expected in parts of northeast India on May 27-28.
Heavy rain in West Bengal

A storm surge of up to 1.5 metres is forecast to inundate low-lying areas of coastal West Bengal and Bangladesh during the storm’s landfall. Fishermen have been advised to stay out of the north Bay of Bengal until the morning of May 27.

The IMD has issued a red alert for the coastal districts of South and North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, warning of heavy to very heavy rain accompanied by wind speeds of 80-90 kilometres per hour, gusting up to 100 kilometres per hour, on May 26 and 27. An orange alert has been issued for Kolkata, Howrah, Nadia, and Purba Medinipur districts, predicting heavy rain and similar wind speeds.

Also read: IMD issues ‘red alert’ for Kerala; warns of heavy rainfall and thunderstorms

Cyclonic storm 'Remal': Odisha, West Bengal and Bangladesh on high alert

Heavy rainfall is also expected in Purba Medinipur on May 25. The rest of south Bengal can expect wind speeds of 40-50 kilometres per hour, gusting to 60 kilometres per hour, along with heavy rain. The IMD has warned of potential localised flooding and major 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.

Odisha prepares for cyclone impact

In anticipation of the storm’s impact, the Odisha government has alerted authorities in four coastal districts—Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, and Mayurbhanj—to take preparatory measures. These districts are expected to experience wind speeds of 40-50 kilometres per hour, along with heavy to very heavy rain.

Also read: Travel advisory: Heatwave alert declared in these parts of India

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