4 NE states put on red alert for cyclone Sitrang | India News

GUWAHATI/KOLKATA: A red alert was sounded across Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura on Monday in view of the impending Cyclone Sitrang.
It is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm, the IMD said. Authorities said thunderstorms with lightning is very likely in parts of Hailakandi, Karimganj, Cachar, Dima Hasao, East and West Karbi Anglong, Morigaon, Nagaon, Kamrup Metro, Kamrup, Goalpara, Golaghat, Jorhat and Sibsagar districts till October 26.
Sanjay O’Neill Shaw, Scientist-F, Regional Meteorological Centre, Guwahati said, “In Guwahati, there will be cloudy sky with moderate rain, with strong wind reaching 30km per hour on Monday. The heavy rainfall is likely to continue the next day with sky to remain cloudy. The temperature has also dropped to 23.3 degrees Celsius in Guwahati city.”
On Monday, Kolkatans woke up to an overcast sky with spells of light rain every now and then, even as Sitrang kept advancing towards Sagar island, on its way to hotting land. Met office said the worst was over for Kolkata by afternoon when the system started moving away from Kolkata. But under its influence the city is expected to remain under cloud cover with spells of light rain till early part of Tuesday morning.
Amidst apprehensions, Sitrang spared Kolkata only with light rain and medium wind breezing into a speed ranging between 30 and 40 kmph. Indian Meteorological department had also predicted light to moderate rain for the city with wind speed of 30 to 40 kmph gusting up to 50 kmph.
“The worst is over for Kolkata even as we expect light rain till early Tuesday morning. But by morning office hours the weather should be fair with the rain going away. Kolkata was never in the direct path of the cyclone and hence the prediction was light to moderate rain,” said GK Das director (weather) at Regional Meteorological centre Kolkata.
Even as Sitrang spared the city largely from any major disruption, as a precautionary measure ferry services between Kolkata and Howrah was were suspended. Sources said the suspension of this mode of transport will be extended even on Tuesday.
Street lights in many major thoroughfares were kept switched off for few hours as a measure to prevent from prevent electrocution. But later there were switched on as the wind speed paused no danger and the rain amount too caused no flooding.
A deep depression over westcentral and adjoining eastcentral Bay of Bengal had intensified as cyclonic storm Sitrang by the Sunday evening. Even as the system initially moved at a speed ranging between 10 to 15 kmph in the initial stage by Monday morning it had gained a speed moving at 31 kmph.
The closest Sitrang came to Kolkata was when it lay about 300 km away from Sagar island in the Suderbans Region on Monday afternoon after which it started moving away from the city. According IMD prediction the system will continue to move continue to move in the north-northeast direction and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm.
Moving in the same direction, it is very likely to cross Bangladesh coast between Tinkona island and Sandwip close to Barisal to make a landfall around Monday midnight.
“The earlier prediction of its landfall was morning on Tuesday. But since it is moving at a faster speed the time of rainfall has been advanced by about six to seven hours. The cyclonic storm’s speed has been accelerated under the influence of a north west trough,” added Das.
Places in Sunderbans, however, were raided by strong wind gusting up to 80 kmph. Sources in the Met office said Sunderbans will still be under close watch as it will continue to feel Sitrang’s impact as far as the cyclone was in the sea.
This is the first tropical cyclone originating from the Bay of Bengal, known as a hotbed for stirring up cyclones. In 2021, Yaas that made landfall near Balasore caused heavy flooding in Midnapore but did not impact Kolkata much. In the recent time, super cylone Amphan is the only cyclone that had a massive impact on Kolkata.
The National Meteorological Service of the country has predicted that the cyclone is very likely to cross Bangladesh coast between Tinkona island and Sandwip, close to Barisal around the early hours.

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