Severe cyclone Remal leaves trail of destruction; 2 killed | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Severe cyclone Remal leaves trail of destruction; 2 killed

May 27, 2024 10:40 AM IST

The storm hit the land between Sagar Islands in Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district, which was the hardest hit, and Khepupara in Bangladesh near Mongla

Severe cyclone Remal, which crossed Bangladesh and the adjoining West Bengal coast on Sunday night, left a trail of destruction in three coastal districts of the eastern Indian state, killing two people and displacing around 200,000 people.

Reports of destruction poured in from places such as Sagar Island. (PTI)
Reports of destruction poured in from places such as Sagar Island. (PTI)

One Md Sajid, 50, was killed when a concrete chunk fell on him at Entally in Kolkata as the storm battered the region with winds speeding up to 110-120 km per hour and reaching up to 135 km per hour when the landfall started around 9:30pm. An 80-year-old woman identified as Renuka Mondal died at Frazerganj in South 24 Parganas when an uprooted tree fell on her.

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The storm hit the land between Sagar Islands in Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district, which was the hardest hit, and Khepupara in Bangladesh near Mongla.

Reports of destruction poured in from places such as Sagar Island, Diamond Harbour, Jharkhali, Hingalganj, and Sandeshkhali in South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas even as operations resumed at the Kolkata airport at 9am on Monday a day after it was shut down at noon on Sunday. The closure led to the cancellation of 394 flights. Local train services from Kolkata also resumed from 9am on Monday, said an Eastern Railways official.

North 24 Parganas district magistrate SK Dwivedi said there were no reports of deaths. “Only trees and electric poles were uprooted. Some houses were damaged. Work has already begun to remove the uprooted trees and restore the electric poles. Around 30,000 people were evacuated and brought to safer places including cyclone shelters.”

Dwivedi’s South 24 Parganas counterpart, Sumit Gupta, said over 150000 people were shifted to safer places. “...maximum damage [was reported from]...pockets such as Sagar, Namkhana, Basanti, Kultali, Patharpratima, and Gosaba...”

Kolkata received around 140mm of rain from 8:30am on Sunday until around 5:30am on Monday. An official in East Midnapore said around 28,000 people were evacuated. “...the storm uprooted trees, blew tin shades of kaccha houses...the rain damaged the mud huts.”

The storm passed over by night but strong winds continued to batter the region on Monday morning. Dum Dum recorded a windspeed of 91km per hour around 5:30am on Monday, Canning (South 24 Parganas) 78 km per hour, and Sagar Island around 63 km per hour.

India Metrological Department (IMD) officials in Kolkata said around 9:30pm that the landfall process began and that it would take at least four hours for the storm to pass. “[The] forward sector of the wall cloud region is entering into land. The landfall process is continuing over coastal areas of Bangladesh and West Bengal. It will continue for [the] next three hours. Gale wind speed reaching 110-120 km per hour gusting up to 135 km per hour is prevailing along and off Bangladesh and West Bengal,” said an IMD bulletin at 10:30pm.

The eye of the cyclone (the central cloud-free region with clam winds) started entering the land around 11:30pm.

IMD officials said that the cyclone was barrelling through Bangladesh while losing steam in districts such as Nadia and Murshidabad in West Bengal, which were likely to get heavy to very heavy rain on Monday. A red warning has been issued for the two districts.

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