Severe Cyclone Remal makes landfall along Bangladesh and West Bengal coasts

Both coasts could be innundated by storm surges a metre high in West Bengal and upto 4 metres high in Bangladesh

Screengrab of Windy.com showing Cyclone RemalScreengrab of Windy.com showing Cyclone Remal

The landfall process of severe cyclone Remal started along the coast of Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal around 9:30 pm Indian Standard Time on May 26. It will take four hours to get completed.

The rapid speed of the cyclone over the Bay of Bengal may have skewed the progress of the monsoon winds, bringing the Bay of Bengal branch of the monsoon trough much further ahead than the Arabian Sea branch.

“Forward sector of wall cloud region is entering into land. The landfall process has commenced over coastal areas of Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal. It will continue for next 4 hours,” Union Minister of Earth Sciences, Kiren Rijiju wrote on social media platform X.

Around 8,00,000 people have been evacuated by the authorities in Bangladesh in view of the adverse impacts of the cyclone. The country is to get more rainfall from the storm as compared to West Bengal, as per forecasts from the weather analysis and visualisation platform Windy.com.

After a few twists and turns on the ocean and in its forecasts over the past few days, the cyclone is crossing the coast with peak wind speeds of 120 km/hr and gusts of up to 135 km/hr.

These wind speeds are going to prevail along coastal regions of Bangladesh and West Bengal from the midnight of May 26 until the early morning hours of May 27, according to the latest cyclone update by the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Thereafter, the wind speeds are to gradually reduce to 60-70 km/hr. IMD also says that the strongest winds of the cyclone — which has a huge diameter — are in the southernmost section.

Wind speeds of 70-80 km/hr with gusts of up to 90 km/hr are prevailing over Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata districts of West Bengal.

The coastal areas of West Bengal and Bangladesh, home to the biodiversity-rich Sundarbans delta, may also get inundated by a storm surge. A storm surge is the increase in the height of the astronomical tidal waves along the coast because of the fierce winds of a cyclone.

This increase in height would be around a metre for the West Bengal coast and could be as high as 4 metres for the Bangladesh coast. IMD warns that there could also be coastal inundation along the rivers and creeks of Bangladesh, including the Meghna river.  

Earlier, IMD had warned about heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in West Bengal, Odisha and seven of the eight Northeastern states of India from May 26-28.

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