Cyclone 'Bulbul' Set to Make Landfall in Bengal, Kolkata Airport Suspends Operations for 12 Hours

Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall, accompanied by winds reaching up to 120 kmph and tidal waves up to one to two metre, are expected.

Kolkata: Operations at the Kolkata airport, the busiest in eastern India, will be suspended for 12 hours beginning at 6 pm on Saturday due to the severe cyclone ‘Bulbul’, Home Ministry officials said. The severe cyclone is expected to make a landfall on the West Bengal coast this evening.

“Due to the very severe cyclone ‘Bulbul’, operations at Kolkata airport are being suspended from 1800 hours on November 9 up to 0600 hours on November 10,” a home ministry official said.

The severe cyclone ‘Bulbul’ at 1430 hours on Saturday lay about 90 km south-south east of Digha, 85 km south of Sagar Islands and 185 km south east of Kolkata. According to the IMD, it will make landfall at West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Island (WB) and Khepupara (Bangladesh) across Sunderban delta by Saturday at around 2000 to 2200 hours.

Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall, accompanied by winds reaching up to 120 kmph and tidal waves up to one or two metres, are expected while the cyclone is expected to make a landfall on the West Bengal coast  on Saturday.

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), the country’s apex body to handle any emergency, on Saturday reviewed the preparedness to deal with the very severe cyclone ‘Bulbul’ over the Bay of Bengal which is likely to affect the coastal districts of West Bengal and Odisha.

The meeting of the NCMC, headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, was informed by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) that the cyclone has now intensified and is likely to cross the West Bengal coast by Saturday evening.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday said she is herself monitoring the situation and the administration has taken all measures to tackle any contingency in view of Cyclone Bulbul, which will make its landfall in the coastal area of the state and .

She appealed to the citizens through a series of tweets to keep calm while assuring them that appropriate measure were being undertaken by the state government to tackle the situation at hand.

“Cyclone Bulbul is about to pass through Bengal. Our state administration is closely monitoring the situation 24×7. We are taking all measures to tackle any contingency. Special Control Rooms have been set up and NDRF-SDRF teams are deployed,” Banerjee said in a tweet.

Schools, colleges and anganwadi centres have been closed and more than 1.2 lakh people have already been rescued from the vulnerable coastal areas, she said.

“Please do not panic. Kindly remain calm and cooperate with the administration in its rescue and relief efforts. Be alert, take care and stay safe,” she said.

The very severe cyclonic storm ‘Bulbul’ over the Bay of Bengal is likely to make landfall between West Bengal- Bangladesh coasts by late Saturday evening or night, bringing in its wake very heavy rain and gale wind of up to 135 kmph along the coastline, the MeT department said here.

With the weatherman apprehending that the severity of ‘Bulbul’ will cause damage to kutcha houses, roads, communication and power lines along its path in the coastal and adjoining districts of West Bengal, the state government has put in place measures to tackle the evolving situation.

‘Bulbul’, which was centred 190 km south-southwest of Sagar Islands at 5.30 am on Saturday, is likely to weaken gradually and cross the coast between Sagar Islands of West Bengal and Khepupara in Bangladesh with a reduced force as a severe cyclonic storm, the Met department said.