With a very severe cyclonic storm likely to cross the West Bengal-Bangladesh coast near the Sagar Islands by Friday, people living in coastal areas of West Bengal were alerted by the administration on Wednesday.
State Home Secretary P. R .Roy said the cyclone which lay centred north of Andaman Islands changed direction towards coastal areas of the state and Bangladesh.
Earlier, it was predicted that the cyclone would hit the Orissa coast. Though the cyclone has changed its track, the Orissa government is still on high alert.
The director of the Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre, S.C. Sahu, said: “The possibility of the very severe cyclonic storm hitting the Orissa coast directly appears almost nil. But we are closely monitoring the path and trying to know the intensity of its impact on Orissa.” Medium to heavy rains are likely to occur in many parts of coastal Orissa from Thursday afternoon, he added.
The state government has asked the collectors of coastal districts to keep relief teams ready. A cyclone monitoring cell has begun functioning in the state secretariat.