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Cyclone 'Remal' to intensify, set to hit West Bengal coasts by May 26 midnight, says IMD scientist

Kolkata (West Bengal): As India Meteorological Department (IMD) sounded the alarm over a cyclonic storm 'Remal', IMD scientist Somenath Dutta said it is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm and cross between Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal coasts around May 26 midnight.

Speaking to ANI, IMD scientist Somenath Dutta said, "It is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm and cross between Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal coasts around May 26 midnight with maximum sustained wind speed 110 to 120 kilometre per hour, gusting to 135 kilometres per hour."

He added, "In the last 6 hours, the cyclone 'Remal' is moving towards the North Bay with the speed of 13 km/hr... It is in the southwest of Khepupara, Bangladesh... Currently, the windspeed is 95-105 km/hr... It will move in the north direction. At midnight, it will cross the region between Sagar Island and Khepupara... The maximum windspeed will be 110-120 km/hr, gusting to 135 km/hr..."

"An alert has been issued in coastal areas of West Bengal. Squally wind speed will prevail today evening with a speed of 65 kmph in Howrah, Hooghly, Kolkata and East Medinipur at a speed of 65 kmph. The wind speed is likely to increase tonight. It will become 70 to 80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph. It will start decreasing from May 27 evening," the IMD scientist said.

"North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas are likely to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall while Hoogly, Howrah, Kolkata and East Medinipur will receive extremely heavy rainfall," Dutta said.

Meanwhile, the impending landfall of cyclone Remal has led to significant disruptions in air, rail, and road transportation in Kolkata and other parts of South Bengal on Sunday. As a precaution, Kolkata airport authorities suspended flight operations for 21 hours from Sunday noon.

A low-pressure area that was first observed on May 22 in the Bay of Bengal has intensified into a more depressive system, now located in the North Bay of Bengal.

The primary regions affected are West Bengal, Coastal Bangladesh, Tripura and some other parts of north-eastern states. Residents in these areas, as well as in the neighbouring state of Tripura, are urged to brace for adverse weather conditions starting from May 26. 

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