Cyclone Bulbul: Indian Navy Readies Aircraft, Ships For Immediate Deployment

Cyclone Bulbul Intensifies Very Severe Cyclonic Storm, to Make Landfall on Sunday

Cyclone Bulbul Intensifies Very Severe Cyclonic Storm, to Make Landfall on Sunday

Bengal coast: Squally wind speeds reaching 40-50 km/hr gusting to 60 km/hr may commence over the Bengal coast from Friday night and increase to gale wind speeds reaching 110-120 km/hr gusting to 135 km/hr from Saturday midnight to Sunday forenoon along and off East Medinipur, and North and South 24 Parganas. Winds are expected to top speeds up to 150 kilometers per hour (95 mph).

The cyclone is unlikely to make the landfall in Odisha, but the state will face heavy to very heavy rainfall in its coastal and northern districts in the next two days, Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre Director HR Biswas said.

Bangladesh troops were sent to villages to help with the evacuation.

About 55,000 volunteers have been mobilised to go door-to-door and alert people about the storm.

The cyclone is also due to hit the Indian state of West Bengal.

About 1,500 tourists were stranded on the southern island of Saint Martin after boat services were suspended due to bad weather.

Kolkata Port Trust has suspended shipping operations from both in Kolkata and Haldia docks, port officials said.

India also ordered an alert on its side of the border and the West Bengal government evacuated almost 60,000 people in the state, officials said.

Government sources said they have been asked to remove all hoardings from buildings.

Villagers holding umbrellas carry their belongings on their way to enter a relief centre as Cyclone Bulbul is approaching, in Bakkhali near Namkhana in Indian state of West Bengal on November 9, 2019. Heavy rains and damaging winds likely in Coastal Odisha and West Bengal today.

Bulbul was expected to hit the coast at the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest, which straddles Bangladesh and part of eastern India and is home to endangered species including the Bengal tiger.

Over the past decade, Bangladeshi authorities have ramped up emergency preparations in response to cyclones after more than 100,000 people were killed and millions more made homeless when a powerful storm struck in 1991.

Cyclones have often hit Bangladesh in the past, killing thousands of people, but the country has successfully reduced the number of casualties in recent years by being better prepared.

However, the Met department's forecast that the cyclone may skip Odisha has come as a major relief to the people of the state, who are still struggling to return to normalcy post cyclone Fani in May that had claimed more than 64 lives and destroyed around five lakh houses.

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