Mamata directs officials to prepare for cyclone amid warning

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Kolkata, May 19 (PTI) Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday directed senior government officials to make all necessary arrangements after the weather office warned about a cyclonic storm that may hit West Bengal's coastal areas on May 26.

Chairing a virtual meeting, Banerjee directe the officers to arrange for adequate stock of medicines, drinking water, dry food and tarpaulins, officials said.

She also told the officers to ensure that enough force, from state disaster management team and the police, are deployed, they said.

'All cyclone centres and shelters have been asked to be readied. The district magistrates have been directed to take all precautionary measures in the wake of the warnings,' an official said.

The district administrations have been asked to caution the fishermen not to venture into the sea, he said.

A low-pressure area is very likely to form over North Andaman Sea and adjoining east central Bay of Bengal on May 22 and intensify into a cyclonic storm, the Met Department said.

The system is very likely to move northwestwards and reach West Bengal-Odisha coasts around May 26 evening, Regional Met Director GK Das said.

The low-pressure area, after formation on May 22, is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm during the subsequent 72 hours.

Light to moderate rainfall is likely to commence from May 25 in the coastal districts of West Bengal, he said.

Rainfall is likely to increase significantly over all the south Bengal districts and intensify thereafter, Das said.

Warning that sea conditions are likely to be rough to very rough, the Met Department advised fishermen not to venture into the Bay of Bengal from May 24. PTI SCH AMR SOM SOM

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