Rescuers take guard as Cyclone Remal gathers steam

Kolkata (May 25, 2024): Central and state agencies associated with disaster management are gearing up with severe cyclonic storm Remal hurtling towards the West Bengal and Bangladesh coastlines.

The landfall is expected sometime around midnight on Sunday. While a control room has been set up at the Kolkata Police headquarters in Lalbazar for the state agencies, teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are heading for the districts that are likely to be affected by the cyclonic storm.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is also issuing alerts to mariners besides coordinating with its Bangladeshi counterparts for proper handling of the situation.

"We are keeping a watch on the situation. All vessels that are likely to be close to the path of the storm have been told to take precautions. Warnings are being sent constantly to all ships and any smaller vessels that may be out at sea.

"Though there is an official ban on fishing in West Bengal at this time of the year, a search is being made for any stray trawlers that may have evaded the ban and sneaked out to sea. We are also in touch with the Bangladesh Coast Guard for a coordinated search and rescue effort if the need arises," a senior ICG official from the North East Region, headquartered in Kolkata, said.

He also said that apart from ICG ships, air assets are also in place at Kolkata and Bhubaneswar for immediate deployment. Two monitoring stations have been set up at Haldia and Paradip by the ICG.

The NDRF, meanwhile, has deployed 12 teams with equipment in seven districts. While one team will be deployed in Kolkata, there will be two each in the districts of North 24-Parganas, East Midnapore, and West Midnapore.

Three teams have been deployed in South 24-Parganas which is expected to be hit the hardest. The remaining teams will be stationed at Howrah and Hooghly.

Meanwhile, Rathendra Raman, Chairperson of the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port (SMP) in Kolkata, reviewed the preparedness at the ports of Kolkata and Haldia.

The situation is expected to be at its worst between 6 p.m. on Sunday and 6 a.m. on Monday. There will be no cargo or container handling at the ports during this period and all equipment will be secured in a boom-down state to prevent any accident.

Ships at berth are also being secured properly. Port operators have also been instructed to secure all equipment and vehicles during the period. Importers and exporters have been directed to protect any exposed cargo with tarpaulin sheets and guard them with sandbags.



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Title: Rescuers take guard as Cyclone Remal gathers steam

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