WB govt. gears up to face possible cyclone

‘Low-pressure area in Bay of Bengal very likely to intensify into cyclonic storm’

With a likely formation of a low-pressure area over north Andaman Sea and adjoining east central Bay of Bengal that can intensify into a cyclonic storm and approach the coast in the next few days, the West Bengal government on Thursday took several steps, including readying a cyclone shelter.

In a communication issued by the Principal secretary, State Disaster Management Department, District Magistrates have been advised to cancel leaves and set up control rooms at districts and subdivisions. The order directed teams of civil defence and quick response teams to be kept ready.

‘Likely to hit on May 26’

A press statement shared by the Regional Meteorological Centre, said a low-pressure area is very likely to form over north Andaman Sea and adjoining east central Bay of Bengal on Saturday. It is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm by May 24. “It would move northwestwards and reach Odisha-West Bengal coast around May 26 morning,” the statement said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed concern over the situation and said that she was holding meetings to take preparatory steps. The Chief Minister pointed out that last year’s Cyclone Amphan had battered coastal regions of the State. It had made a landfall on May 20, 2020, killing nearly 100 people. Most parts of Kolkata were without power for almost a week after Cyclone Amphan.

As the State administration is making preparations to tackle the cyclone, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage in the State.

19,091 new cases in State

The number of new cases on Thursday dipped to 19,091, while the active case tally stands at 1,31,529. With 162 more deaths, the State’s total death toll has risen to 14,057. The State tested 70,638 samples in the past 24 hours.

According to the government, there are 234 COVID-19 hospitals, of which about 184 are State-run facilities. The bed occupancy rate is about 38.49%.

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