Half a million people evacuated as cyclone approaches Bangladesh and eastern India


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. It might also uproot trees, ruin crops and cause embankment erosion, he warned. The weather department said the system is likely to move initially north-northwestwards and then almost northwards till November 9.

The Met department said that the cyclone, situated 750 km south of Kolkata in the afternoon, is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by Thursday night and into a very severe cyclonic storm by Friday.

The met department also advised West Bengal government to suspend ferry boat service on November 9 and 10 in Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, East and West Midnapore districts.

Villagers take shelter inside a relief centre as Cyclone Bulbul is approaching, in Bakkhali near Namkhana in Indian state of West Bengal on November 9, 2019.

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. It suggested that coastal hutment dwellers be moved to safer places. The governments of both states have been asked to restrict beach activities.

Odisha: Light to moderate rainfall is forecast at most places over the north coastal districts of Odisha with isolated heavy falls over Puri, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore and Jagatsinghpur on Friday.

As forecasted, the Severe Cyclonic Storm Bulbul has intensified into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm.

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As of 5:30 pm on Friday, it has a wind speed of 140-150 kmph gusting to 165 kmph.

Under its impact, heavy to very heavy rainfall with extremely heavy rain at one or two places is likely to occur in the coastal districts of North and South 24 Parganas on November 9 and 10, the Met said.

It is set to reach wind speeds of up to 120km/h (75mph), with gusts of 150km/h, and create tidal surges in the sea and rivers when it hits the coastal regions, says the Bangladesh Meteorological Department. We expect the Cyclone to skirt along southern parts of West Bengal and make a landfall over Bangladesh.

Seventeen teams each have been stationed in the two states and the National Disaster Response Force is prepared to tackle any eventuality, NDRF Director General S N Pradhan said here.

Mr. Pradhan said out of the total teams in Odisha, six have been deployed while the rest are in reserve.

The sea condition is likely to be very high over central and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal and rough to very rough along and off Odisha and West Bengal coasts.