Leaves of all Kolkata corporation staff to be cancelled amid cyclone Asani alert

Published on May 08, 2022 04:21 PM IST

Kolkata mayor Firhad Hakim said that the city administration is using lessons learnt from the effects of cyclone Amphan in May 2020 to take measures in wake of cyclone Asani, including keeping electric saws, earthmovers, cranes on standby to clear blockades caused by uprooted trees and other debris.

Cyclone Asani is expected to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm later on Sunday, May 8, 2022, according to the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) forecast.(PTI)
Cyclone Asani is expected to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm later on Sunday, May 8, 2022, according to the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) forecast.(PTI)
Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, New Delhi

Leaves of all employees of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) are being cancelled to deal with any emergency in wake of cyclone Asani, mayor Firhad Hakim said on Sunday. The employees as well as the disaster management teams have been put on alert as cyclone Asani is expected to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm over Bay of Bengal later in the day.

Hakim said that the cyclone is unlikely to hit the capital of West Bengal but the city is expected to witness heavy rains due to its formation. “We are, however, making preparations to deal with any eventuality if the cyclone hits the city so that life is brought back to normal as soon as possible,” he was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

Also Read | Cyclone Asani top 10 updates: Heavy rain likely in 3 states; storm to intensify

Using lessons from the effects of super cyclone Amphan that damaged the city in May 2020, the mayor further said the KMC administration is taking all measures, including keeping electric saws, earthmovers, cranes on standby to clear blockades caused by uprooted trees and other debris.

"We did not understand what the effect of Amphan could really be, but having learnt from our experience we are keeping everything ready," the leader of the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) government said.

Amphan had uprooted hundreds of trees in Kolkata and electric poles, blocking thoroughfares and keeping several areas of the city without power for days. More than 70 people lost their lives in the cyclone that swept through the eastern city, with a majority of them dying from electrocution or due to coming under falling trees. Several houses and buildings in the city were also destroyed.

Also Read | Cyclone Asani: Odisha ready to evacuate 7.5 lakh if needed, says top official

Talking about steps being taken by the KMC administration in view of Asani, he said that a control room will also be operational during the movement of the cyclonic storm.

According to the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) latest update on Twitter, cyclone Asani moved northwestwards over Bay of Bengal and currently lies centered over the same region, which is 530km west-northwest of Car Nicobar (Nicobar Islands), 440km of Port Blair (Andaman Islands), and 900km southeast of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).

Cyclone Asani's landfall on the Indian coast, however, is unlikely according to the Met department. It is expected to continue moving northwestwards till May 10 evening and reach west central and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts. Thereafter, it is very likely to recurve north-northeastwards and move towards northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha coast, the IMD said.

Due to cyclone Asani's formation, heavy rainfall has been forecast over coastal areas of West Bengal on May 11 and 12. Coastal districts of Purba Medinipur, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas are expected to receive heavy downpour.

A West Bengal government official told PTI that the administrations of the aforementioned districts are keeping cyclone shelters, schools and other pucca structures along with dry food and necessary medicines ready to deal with any scenario that may arise.

Furthermore, fishermen at ports of Fraserganj, Shankarpur, and other places have been asked by civil and police officials not to venture into the sea.

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