Bangladesh evacuates 300000 people ahead of Cyclone Bulbul

The cyclone is likely to intensify further and move northwards till early morning of November 9

The cyclone is likely to intensify further and move northwards till early morning of November 9

The cyclone was packing winds of up to 120 kilometres (75 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 130 kph (80 mph), but was forecast to weaken after crossing the coast. "As predicted, wind speed will be 50-60 kmph at the time of reaching Kolkata", said G K Das, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, in Kolkata.

The meteorological office of Bangladesh has raised the danger signal level for Mongla and Payra ports to the highest danger signal-10 as cyclone Bulbul is approaching the country's coastal belt.

Incessant rain since the early hours left parts of Kolkata and its adjoining suburbs with waterlogged streets and overflowing drains, leading to traffic congestion during busy office hours.

"State Chief Secretaries informed of having taken all precautionary measures in the coastal regions and monitoring the situation in the districts on a 24x7 basis".

The chief minister appealed to citizens to maintain calm and not to panic.

The NCMC meeting was headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba.

In India, flights in and out of Kolkata airport were suspended for 12 hours because of the storm.

The Navy has also kept five ships ready at Khulna for emergency relief and rescue operations in Khulna, Barishal, Patuakhali, Jhalakathi and Barguna.

The met department also advised West Bengal government to suspend ferry boat service on November 9 and 10 in Kolkata, North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, East and West Midnapore districts.

Most places in coastal Odisha experienced light to moderate rainfall, Jena said, adding that paddy and other crops in 35 to 40 per cent area over 6 lakh hectare agriculture land have been damaged due to the downpour triggered by the cyclone.

There were reports of one death each in West Bengal and neighbouring Odisha.

The MHA official said that 17 NDRF teams were deployed in West Bengal, while six of their teams were active in Odisha for dealing with contingencies. 1070 people have been evacuated to several shelters by the Kendrapara district administration and 1050 people have been evacuated from Balasore and Jagatsingpur districts. Personnel of the Indian Coast Guard are in all readiness to tackle any eventuality in the wake of cyclonic storm "Bulbul".

Bangladesh authorities have evacuated around 100,000 people from the country's low-lying coastal villages and islands with Cyclone Bulbul set to slam into the country later on Saturday, officials said.

National Disaster Response Force teams have been moved to Odisha and West Bengal to assist local authorities, a government official said.

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