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Cyclone Bulbul: Operations at Kolkata airport suspended

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Cyclone Bulbul Intensifies Very Severe Cyclonic Storm, to Make Landfall on Sunday

During landfall, "Bulbul" is "very likely" to be in the "severe cyclonic storm" category with maximum sustained windspeed of 110 to 120 km per hour, gusting up to 135 kmph, Regional Met Director G K Das said in Kolkata.

The Met department said that the cyclone, situated 750 km south of Kolkata in the afternoon, is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by Thursday night and into a very severe cyclonic storm by Friday.

Due to severe cyclone "Bulbul", operations at the Kolkata airport have been suspended for 12 hours with effect from 6 pm on Saturday. The weather department said the system is likely to move initially north-northwestwards and then almost northwards till November 9.

Bangladesh's low-lying coast, home to 30 million people, is regularly battered by powerful cyclones that leave a trail of devastation in their wake.

The storm has begun making landfall near Sagar Island in Indian West Bengal, and is expected to unleash surges as high as two metres.

In Odisha, around 4,000 people have so far been evacuated from vulnerable and low-lying areas in some coastal regions of the state and shifted to 47 cyclone shelters, officials said.

According to USA -based AccuWeather Inc., Bulbul strengthened from a deep depression into a tropical cyclone on Thursday morning, and by Friday afternoon had strengthened into a severe cyclone.

"Cyclone Bulbul is about to pass through Bengal". Kindly remain calm and co-operate with the administration in its rescue and relief efforts.

Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said the state government is keeping a close watch on the situation and necessary action is being taken to deal with it. "We are taking all measures to tackle any contingency", she tweeted. An emergency operations center (EOC) control room was opened at the West Bengal secretariat.

Gale wind speeds reaching 70-80 km/hr gusting to 90 km/hr are likely from around Saturday noon along and off Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Balasore and Bhadrak districts for subsequent 12 hours and decrease thereafter.

The NREC said that NDRF, ODRAF and Fire Service teams are already engaged in cutting fallen trees and clearing roads.

Authorities have suspended a nationwide school test, cancelled the holidays of officials posted in coastal districts and called off a traditional fair that draws tens of thousands of people in the Sundarbans. The boats have been safely docked/harboured and the crew and other therein have been provided with required shelter and food, it said.

It suggested that coastal hutment dwellers be moved to safer places.

Electricity supply has been affected in Bijayachandrapur near Paradip due to damage to poles and feeders.

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