The West Bengal government has taken all precautionary measures, including evacuation of people and supply of relief materials to shelters, to deal with possible devastation under the impact of cyclone 'Sitrang', a senior official said on Monday. Several teams of the disaster management department along with SDRF and NDRF personnel have been posted in coastal areas of the state, he said.
"No tourists and fishermen are being allowed to go into the sea. Special teams of police along with State Disaster Response Force and National Disaster Response Force personnel have been deployed. We are not taking chances," a senior official told PTI.
Administrations of South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, and Purba Medinipur have been kept on alert as 'Sitrag' is expected to bring in its wake heavy to very heavy rain and wind reaching speed of 90 to 100 kmph, gusting to 110 kmph, in these districts, he said, citing the Met department bulletin.
The weather system is expected to make a landfall between Tinkona island and Sandwip in Bangladesh early on October 25.
It lay centred around 430 km south of Sagar Island on Monday morning, the weather office said.
Most of those staying in the coastal areas have been moved to safe shelters where "plenty of drinking water pouches, medicines, milk and dry food have been supplied," the official said.
"We have asked the district administrations not to take any chance. As the day progresses, the weather condition is expected to deteriorate. We have advised people to stay indoors in case there is heavy rainfall as an impact of the cyclone," he said.
Besides, control rooms in coastal districts have been opened, and all developments are also being monitored by disaster management department personnel from the state secretariat 'Nabanna'.
Kolkata Police's disaster management groups have been kept ready to deal with the possible impact of the cyclone on the city. "All ghats along the Hooghly river in the city and ferry services have been closed. Our river patrolling teams are keeping a constant watch on the situation," a Kolkata Police officer said.
Kolkata Municipal Corporation keeps all pumping stations active to prevent waterlogging due to heavy rain under the impact of the cyclone, a civic body official said, adding that all personnel of the emergency department are on duty.
"We have kept pumping stations active so that if there is water-logging in the low-lying areas of the city, we will be able to drain out within hours. Community halls are kept open and people staying near the Hooghly river have been cautioned of possible inundation. We have directed our personnel to be ready to get into action immediately in case of any emergency," he added.