Cyclone’ Sitrang’ likely to beget heavy rains, Diwali fests in Bengal

The southern districts of West Bengal, including Kolkata, received light rain and cloudy skies on Monday as Cyclone ‘Sitrang’ moved towards the northern Bay of Bengal, raising the chances of rain during the day reducing Diwali festivities.

The Meteorological Department said the system is expected to reach Bangladesh’s Tinakona Island and Sandwich by early October 25.

The department said it was about 430 km south of Sagar Island on Monday morning.

Sitrang, likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm over the coastal districts of South 24 Parganas, North 24, will bring heavy to hefty rain gusting to 110 kmph gusting 90 to 100 kmph.

It said there would be heavy rainfall in North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas on Tuesday.

The Meteorological Department said that Kolkata and its adjoining Howrah and Hooghly districts would likely receive moderate to heavy rains on Monday.

Wide rain latterly in the day is likely to cast a shadow over the state’s Diwali and Kali Puja fests.

In Kolkata, the wind speed can reach up to 50 kmph, affecting the pergola set up for the Kali Puja form.

The morning rains still didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the addicts who turned up in significant figures at the launch of the day at the notorious Kali tabernacles of Kalighat, Dakshineswar and Thanthania in Kolkata.

The Meteorological Office said that the Sundarbans region in West Bengal and Bangladesh would probably be significantly affected by the cyclone.

It said that torrential rains, winds gusting up to 100 kmph and high tidal swells could damage unpaved dikes and roads and disrupt power and communication lines in the area, it said.

Sanjib Bandopadhyay, deputy director general of the Regional Meteorological Center then, has said that the breaking of raw dikes due to storm swell coupled with high astronomical runs on the new moon could submerge the low-lying areas.

Tidal swells are likely to reach six measures due to the binary effect of the rainfall system and astronomical runs.

A functionary of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation said that ways are being taken to deal with any situation that may arise in the megalopolis due to Sitrang.

“All the pumping stations are completely functional. People living in dilapidated structures are being shifted to original seminaries or community halls,” he said.

Anglers have been advised not to venture into the ocean on October 24 and 25.

Ferry services in the Sundarbans and water tourism conditioning in the deepwater resort municipalities of Digha, Mandarmoni, Shankarpur, Bakkhali and Sagar have also been suspended as a preventative measure.

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