India

Fani is about to hit Bengal, but already causes damage in Midnapore

Midnapore/Kolkata, 3 May (HS): This coastal district town of East Midnapore suffered a major damage this morning when a severe cynonic strom ahead of Fani lashed the town with a wind speed of over 160 km per hour.
According to reports reaching the state administrative headquarters at Nabanna, a sudden cyclonic strom accompanied by heavy rain hit the town and its neighborhood for just about 20 to 25 seconds around 10 a.m. this morning causing considerable damage to several houses besides uprooting a large number of trees and lamp posts across all neighborhood in the town severely disrupting life.
Though there was no report of any loss of life, a number of domestic animals were trapped inside a cow shed when its tinned roof collapsed under the impact of the cyclone.One Police kiosk was also severely damaged. The supply of electricity in the town was also snapped following the cyclone, the reports said and informed that several teams of the Disaster Management Groups swung into action immediately to hep the affected people and remove the uprooted trees from the streets to resume the movement of traffic.
However, Fani whcih has already made a landfall in neighboring Odisha this morning with huge intensity, is likely to hit the coastal districts of South Bengal this afternoon with an average wind speed of about 200 km per hour forcing the district authorities to take maximum preventive measures to minimise the damage and prevent loss of any life.
All tourists from every sea side resort of the state including those from Digha, Mandarmani and Bakkhali have been evacuated to safer places and made suitable transport arrangements so that they could leave these places on time.Meanwhile Chief minister Mamata Banerjee who has cancelled all her electioneering for the next 48 hours from today and decided to remain present at Kharagpur town to personally monitor the possible landfall of Fani and the subsequent damage from there, has urged the people to remain indoors till the impact of the cyclone was over.
‘Please do not venture out except in cases of emergency’, she told the people through a message and hoped that all other political parties would also suspend their election campaign in the state till Sunday because of this natural disaster.
Accortding to the office of the state Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab, necessary instructions had also been given to all senior polling officials in South Bengal to ensure that arrangements for holding the 5th phase of elections on 6 May should be kept ready as per schedule in spite of the threatening of Fani hitting the state by tonight or by tomorrow. Proper security should also be ensured to adequately protect all strong rooms where the ballot boxes were kept, the Commission said.
The Director of the Kolkata Met Office Sanjib Chatterjee told Hindusthan Samachar here today that till 12 noon Fani, whcih had alreadsy made a landfall in Puri and Ganjam districts of Odisha at around 10 a.m. this morning, was situated only about 250 KM away from the coast of Digha in Bay of Bengal and was expected to reach there this afternoon as a severe cyclonic storm accompanied by heavy to very heavy rain. He also urged the people, specially those living in coastal districts of East and West Midnapore and North and South 24 Parganas to take maximum precautions before Fani made a landfall.
The state government has also left no stone unturned to take all preventive measures and kept all officials including those of the Disaster Management Groups, Police, Fire Brigade and the Municipal Corporations on full alert to ensure that there was no loss of life or minimum damage to property unlike those during Eila which destroyed parts of South Bengal in a similar fashion way back in May 2009.
Hindusthan Samachar

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