Cyclone 'Bulbul' disrupts normal life in Bengal; 4 killed

Cyclone 'Bulbul' disrupts normal life in Bengal; 4 killed Kolkata, Nov 10 (PTI) Cyclone 'Bulbul', which madelandfall between Bengal and Bangladesh coasts, brought in itswake heavy rain coupled with strong winds till early Sunday,affecting normal life in several parts of the city and thecoastal districts of the state.

At least four people were killed in rain-relatedincidents in Kolkata and North 24 Parganas since Saturday,according to official reports.

An employee of a renowned club in the city was killedwhen a branch of a cedar tree fell on him, police said.

In Basirhat, North 24 Parganas, three persons died inseparate incidents.

According to a senior police officer, Suchitra Mandal(70) died at Purba Makala village in the district when a treefell on her.

Similarly, at Gokhna village, several tress wereuprooted, one of which claimed the life of Reba Biswas (47).

Manirul Gazi (59) was the third casualty in thedistrict. He was electrocuted to death after coming in contactwith a lamp post, the officer added.

Torrential rain lashed the metropolis throughoutSaturday, forcing people to remain indoors. Gale wind withgusts up to 135 kmph prevailed over the coastal districts ofSouth 24 Parganas and East Midnapore and its adjoining areasin North 24 Parganas as the cyclone made landfall aroundmidnight on Saturday.

Hundreds of uprooted trees blocked roads in parts ofthe city, even as people braved the weather and came out oftheir homes on Sunday.

The NDRF, along with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation(KMC), police and fire personnel, is working on a war footingto clear road blockades caused by fallen trees and branches.

'We have already engaged workers to clear the roadsand pump out water from low-lying areas. We are hopeful ourwork will be over by tonight,' said a KMC official.

State Disaster Management minister Javed Khan said allemergency services have been put in place to ensure uprootedtrees are removed at the earliest.

According to the IMD, the very severe cyclonic stormhad weakened into severe cyclonic storm before making landfallclose to Sunderban Dhanchi forest.

'Yesterday's very severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul' overnorthwest Bay of Bengal (BoB) moved northeastwards, weakenedinto a severe cyclonic storm and crossed West Bengal coastclose to Sunderban Dhanchi forest during 8.30 to 11.30 pm witha maximum sustained wind speed of 110-120 kmph gusting to 135kmph,' it said in an official release.

The Met department also predicted light to moderaterainfall over the next six hours from 12.30 pm in North andSouth 24 Parganas, East Midnapore and Nadia districts.

In a tweet, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said shewould conduct an aerial survey of the affected areas aroundNamkhana and Bakkhali in South 24 Parganas.

'Due to the severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul', I havedecided to postpone my North Bengal visit in the coming week.

Instead, tomorrow I would take an aerial survey of theaffected areas around Namkhana and Bakkhali.

'Later I would take a meeting at Kakdwip withadministration to review relief and rehabilitation measures ofthe cyclone-affected people. I am also planning to visit thecyclone-affected areas of Basirhat of North 24-Parganas on 13November, 2019,' Banerjee tweeted.

State power minister Sovandeb Chattopadhyay saidmeasures were being taken to restore power supply in areas,where electric cables have been torn apart due to the cyclone.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spokewith West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee about thesituation arising out of the cylone and assured the state ofall assistance to deal with the calamity.

'Reviewed the situation in the wake of cycloneconditions and heavy rain in parts of Eastern India,' theprime minister wrote on Twitter. PTI PNTRMS RMS