1. Cyclone Remal is expected to hit the Bengal and Bangladesh coasts on May 26.
2. Wind speeds are forecasted at 110-120 km/h, gusting up to 135 km/h.
3. Timing coincides with voting in eight Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.

Weather Update, May 24: A cyclonic storm brewing in the Bay of Bengal is poised to make landfall along the coasts of West Bengal and neighbouring Bangladesh as a severe cyclone on May 26, coinciding with the voting in eight Lok Sabha seats in the state.

IMD’s Forecast

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts that Cyclone Remal will reach the coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh on May 26, with wind speeds ranging from 110 to 120 kilometres per hour, gusting up to 135 kilometres per hour. The severity is expected to persist for approximately 24 hours till the morning of May 27 before gradually losing intensity.

Intensification Timeline

The storm is anticipated to transform into a deep depression on May 25 and escalate into a severe cyclonic storm by May 26, according to the IMD bulletin. It is likely to cross Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal coasts between Sagar Island and Khepupara around midnight on May 26.

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Precautionary Measures

In response to the impending cyclone, the IMD has issued an orange alert for light to moderate rainfall in several districts including Kolkata, Howrah, Nadia, Jhargram, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, and Purba Medinipur. Fishermen have been advised to avoid venturing into the Bay of Bengal until May 27.

Election Commission’s Response

With the cyclone coinciding with polling day in eight Lok Sabha seats of West Bengal, the Election Commission has heightened its vigilance. The districts have been instructed to implement precautionary measures at polling stations to ensure the safety of voters and poll personnel.

State Preparedness

West Bengal Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab conducted a comprehensive review meeting with superintendents of police and state disaster management officials. The officials have been directed to take necessary steps to prevent any untoward incidents during the cyclone.

Disaster Management Measures

The state disaster management department has confirmed that all essential measures have been put in place to mitigate the cyclone’s impact. Additional personnel have been deployed to coastal districts to aid in disaster response and relief efforts.