A woman carries pitchers next to uprooted trees and a fallen signboard following Cyclone Fani in Khordha district in the eastern state of Odisha, India, May 3, 2019. (REUTERS/R Narendra)
Kolkata, May 4 (IANS): Cyclone Fani, one of the strongest storms to batter the Indian subcontinent in decades, has weakened into a “cyclonic storm leaving no more major threat” for West Bengal on Saturday.
At present, the cyclone, which is situated at Shantipur in Nadia district about 60 km north of Kolkata, is likely to enter Bangaldesh around Saturday noon.
Trees were uprooted in the coastal cities in the state and a few places in Kolkata as the cyclone entered Bengal post-midnight hours after making landfall and causing havoc in Odisha on Friday.
No loss of life or any injury has been reported so far.
After all flights from Bhubaneswar and Kolkata airports were grounded on Friday, the NSC Bose airport here resumed operations at 9.57 a.m. on Saturday.
According to a special weather bulletin of Regional Meteorological Centre’s (RMC), Fani is “decaying rapidly”.
“It is very likely to move further north-northeastwards and emerge into Bangladesh on Saturday around noon as a deep depression with wind speed 50-60 kmph gusting to 70 kmph,” RMC’s Deputy Director General Sanjib Bandyopadhyay said.
According to weather expert J.K. Mukhopadhyay, the area of influence of the cyclone has shrunk.
“In Midnapore and other coastal areas, the wind speed was around 75 kmph and caused destruction along with rains. Kolkata received rains but the wind speed did not rise that much,” he said.
The severe cyclonic storm Fani entered Bengal at 12.30 a.m. through Odisha’s Balasore. It crossed Kharagpur packing wind at 70-80 kmph, gusting to 90 kmph.
In the sea resort of Digha, the wind speed reached 70 kmph in some areas, in Frazerganj the wind velocity was between 60 and 70 kmph.
The administration has switched off electricity to prevent any accident as the storm passed through a particular point in the state.
According to the Meteorological Department, the extremely severe cyclonic storm relatively weakened after entering coastal Odisha and transformed into “very severe” storm as it approached West Bengal.
Fani lashed cities and towns in coastal Bengal including Digha, Mandarmani, Tajpur, Sandehskhali and Contai while the effects of the storm could also be felt in cities like Kharagpur and Burdwan as trees were uprooted and metal hoardings gave way.
Parts of Kolkata and the suburbs also received moderate to heavy rainfall since Friday afternoon