Cyclone Bulbul to make landfall tonight, Kolkata airport suspends flight ops

Cyclone Bulbul to make landfall tonight, Kolkata airport suspends flight ops

High winds uprooted trees in coastal blocks of the three districts as well while also damaging houses in some areas. The system is likely to weaken gradually after landfall as a severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained speed of 110 to 120 kilometre per hour with gusts up to 135 kmph, the Met department said in Kolkata.

The Kendrapara district administration has evacuated 1,070 people to safe shelters, and over 1,500 were shifted in Balasore and Jagatsinhgpur districts.

The Bangladesh government has ordered the evacuation of 18 lakh people from the country's coastal areas.Local authorities have ordered school buildings and mosques to be used as shelters, reported BBC.

The West Bengal Government is working on war footing to minimize the impact of super cyclonic storm Bulbul which is likely to hit the state tonight.

The weatherman has asked the Bengal administration to suspend fishing activities and ferry boat service on November 9 and 10 in Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, East and West Midnapore districts.

The cyclone is unlikely to make the landfall in Odisha, but the state will face heavy to very heavy rainfall in its coastal and northern districts in the next two days, Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre Director HR Biswas said.

More than 50,000 volunteers were mobilized to warn people living in low-lying areas of the approaching cyclone. The region has the world's largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans.

The storm - which is due to make landfall on Saturday evening local time - is expected to unleash surges as high as 7ft (two metres).

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Several ships from Bangladesh's navy and coast guard were kept ready in parts of the region for an emergency response, said the domestic TV station Independent.

The Very Severe Cyclonic Storm "Bulbul" is being tracked by the Doppler Weather Radars at Gopalpur, Paradip and Kolkata in addition to other observing platforms.

With winds about 130-140 kph, Bulbul is now the equivalent of a category one or two hurricane in the Atlantic, it said.

Authorities suspended all activities in the country's main seaports, including in Chittagong, which handles nearly 80% of Bangladesh's exports and imports.

In the Cox's Bazar coastal district, tourists were alerted to stay in their hotels while a few hundred visitors were stuck on St Martin's Island. Cyclone shelters have been built over recent years.

"Cyclone Bulbul is about to pass through Bengal".

Bangladesh's low-lying coast, home to 30 million people, is regularly battered by powerful cyclones that leave a trail of devastation in their wake.

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