Cyclone Remal impact: 394 flights affected, 2 killed in Bengal; 10 dead in Bangladesh | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Cyclone Remal impact: 394 flights affected, 2 killed in Bengal; 10 dead in Bangladesh

May 27, 2024 02:39 PM IST

Nearly 8 lakh people were evacuated from Bangladesh's low-lying coastal areas due to Cyclone Remal's impact.

Nearly 800,000 people were evacuated from Bangladesh's low-lying coastal areas due to Cyclone Remal's impact. The cyclone made landfall late Sunday near West Bengal’s Sagar Island and Bangladesh’s Khepupara region. Monday morning saw heavy to very heavy rainfall accompanied by strong wind gusts, affecting most of Bangladesh as the storm's influence persisted.

People walk along shrimp and crab farms that are flooded due to heavy rain as Cyclone Remal passes the country, in the Shyamnagar area of Satkhira, Bangladesh, May 27, 2024. (REUTERS)
People walk along shrimp and crab farms that are flooded due to heavy rain as Cyclone Remal passes the country, in the Shyamnagar area of Satkhira, Bangladesh, May 27, 2024. (REUTERS)

The strong winds accompanying the severe cyclonic storm resulted in widespread power outages in Bangladesh, with millions left without electricity due to fallen power poles and uprooted trees.

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Cyclone Remal also caused widespread destruction across the coastal regions of West Bengal, disrupting air, rail, and road travel in Kolkata and other southern areas of the state.

‘Remal’ marks the first cyclone of the year in the Bay of Bengal, occurring ahead of the monsoon season from June to September.

On Monday, May 27, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said Cyclone ‘Remal’ would persist in moving nearly northwards for some time before shifting north-northeastwards and gradually weakening into a Cyclonic Storm.

Impact on Bangladesh

- The severe cyclonic storm in southern Bangladesh flooded coastal villages and left hundreds of thousands without electricity on Monday. Although casualty figures were not officially available, the Associated Press report quoted Dhaka-based Somoy TV as reporting at least seven deaths. Furthermore, two individuals were reported missing after a boat capsized in southwestern Bangladesh.

- The cyclone has been accompanied by gusty winds and heavy rains, impacting areas including Barisal, Bhola, Patuakhali, Satkhira, and Chattogram.

- These Bangladeshi coastal villages, reportedly submerged, had many flood protection embankments that were either washed away or damaged by storm surges.

- Beginning Sunday morning, Approximately 800,000 residents were evacuated from the port areas of Mongla, Chittagong, and nine coastal districts to storm shelters.

- Mohibur Rahman, Bangladesh’s junior disaster management and relief minister, disclosed that volunteers were enlisted to transport evacuees to around 9,000 cyclone shelters. Additionally, the government ordered the closure of all regional schools until further notice.

- Cyclone Remal commenced its assault on Bangladesh’s southern coast late Sunday and was expected to diminish in strength by noon, as announced by the country's Meteorological Department in Dhaka.

- In anticipation of the storm, Dhaka established nearly 8,000 cyclone shelters and mobilised 78,000 volunteers, while the Indian navy prepared ships, aircraft, divers, and medical supplies for potential deployment.

- Operations at Mongla and Chittagong ports were suspended, and the airport in the southeastern city of Chattogram ceased operations, cancelling all domestic flights to and from Cox’s Bazar.

- Bangladesh halted loading and unloading activities at Chittagong, the country’s largest seaport, and relocated more than a dozen ships from jetties to the deep sea as a precautionary measure.

Impact on West Bengal

- Three people sustained injuries, and vehicular movement was disrupted in various parts of Kolkata due to uprooted trees in the aftermath of Cyclone Remal, news agency PTI reported.

- During the first hour of the landfall process, West Bengal's minister for power, Arup Biswas, said at least 356 electricity poles were uprooted, and numerous transformers were damaged, Reuters reported.

- According to PTI, Kolkata airport suspended flight operations for 21 hours from Sunday noon, affecting 394 flights in both international and domestic sectors. Flight services resumed on Monday morning after being suspended for 21 hours, with the first plane departing at 8.59 am and the first one landing at 9.50 am.

- The weather system, located 150 km northeast of Sagar Island, brought heavy rainfall to Kolkata and the coastal districts of West Bengal overnight. The Indian Coast Guard announced on Monday that it is closely monitoring the cyclone's landfall. A disaster response team, ships, and hovercraft are on standby to respond promptly to post-impact challenges.

- Due to the cyclone, several suburban trains were cancelled in the Sealdah South section of the Eastern Railway (ER), but services resumed in the section by 9 am on Monday.

- According to another official, waterlogging at Park Street and Esplanade stations disrupted Kolkata Metro operations between Girish Park and Mahanayak Uttam Kumar stations. However, metro services remain unaffected from Dakshineswar to Girish Park and Kabi Subhas to Mahanayak Uttam Kumar. Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakim stated that the municipal corporation is actively working to resolve the situation.

- Several trees were uprooted in Kolkata's Alipore area as heavy rain and gusty winds affected various parts of West Bengal. Meanwhile, the NDRF team cleared a road after a tree was uprooted near Sagar Island amidst heavy rain and gusty winds in Sandeshkhali, North 24 Parganas.

- West Bengal Governor CV Ananda Bose and the Raj Bhavan task force conducted a field visit following Cyclone Remal's landfall. Governor C V Ananda Bose expressed relief that “no casualties were reported,” stating they are closely monitoring the situation and offering assistance if needed.

(With inputs from agencies)

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