The very severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul' over the Bay of Bengal is likely to make landfall between West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts by late Saturday evening or night, bringing in its wake very heavy rain and gale wind of up to 135 kmph along the coastline, the MeT department said here.
With the weatherman apprehending that the severity of 'Bulbul' will cause damage to kutcha houses, roads, communication and power lines along its path in the coastal and adjoining districts of West Bengal, the state government has put in place measures to tackle the evolving situation.
'Bulbul', centered 190 km south-southwest of Sagar Islands at 5.30 am on Saturday, is likely to weaken gradually and cross the coast between Sagar Islands of West Bengal and Khepupara in Bangladesh with a reduced force as a severe cyclonic storm, the MeT department said.
It is likely to make landfall by the late evening or night of Saturday with a maximum sustained wind speed of 110 to 120 km per hour with gusts of up to 135 kmph that will prevail from Saturday afternoon for next 12 hours along and off East Midnapore, North and South 24 Parganas and Howrah, the MeT said.
It said that squally wind of 50 to 60 kmph with gusts up to 70 kmph is likely over adjoining districts of West Midnapore, Kolkata and Hooghly from Saturday morning and from afternoon in Nadia and Murshidabad.
Heavy to very heavy rain with extremely heavy rain at one or two places have been forecast in the affected areas.
The weatherman said that damage to properties and infrastructure is likely in the districts of East Midnapore, North and South 24 Parganas, Kolkata, Howrah, Hooghly, Nadia and Murshidabad.
Issuing a "red warning to take action", the MeT advised the administration to ensure total suspension of fishing activities, ferry services, regulation of rail and road traffic, movement of coastal hutment dwellers to safer places.
It asked people in the affected areas to remain indoors.
Incessant rain and squally wind have been lashing the coastal districts since Friday, with the intensity increasing gradually.
Light rain that lashed Kolkata since Friday afternoon, gradually increased in intensity and continued to pound the metropolis from Saturday morning leading to waterlogging in some streets and low lying areas.
The coastal towns of Digha and Contai received 80 mm and 77m of rain the highest rainfall over 24 hours till 8.30 am on Saturday in the state.
Kolkata received 20 mm rainfall during the period, the MeT said.