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City expected to make narrow escape from Gulab but no relief from low pressure

The Unified Command Centre would keep a close watch on areas that are “low lying” and always run the risk of getting inundated even in a small spell of shower. They have earmarked five such areas and their areas of focus would be mainly Kalighat, Bhawanipore, Alipore, Watgunge and Ekbalpore, where 22 teams of Disaster Management Group ( DMG) had been kept ready.

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Even as Kolkata is expected to make a narrow escape from the cyclonic storm Gulab that is tipped to make landfall at Kalingapatnam tomorrow, the city is predicted to be lashed by another low pressure system on 28 and 29 September.

The Met department has issued an orange warning for Kolkata and several other districts of South Bengal for 28 and 29 September. The city along with Howrah and Hooghly, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas is predicted to receive over 100 mm of rainfall on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kolkata, Howrah, Hooghly, West Midnapore and Jhargram will see squally winds of 30 to 40 kmph, gusting to 50 kmph on the two days.

“The deep depression which is expected to intensify into a cyclonic storm in the next six hours will not have a direct impact on our state. Chances of heavy rainfall on 26 September are in the district of East Midnapore,” informed an official of the Regional Meteorological Centre.

“Till 26 September, coastal districts of the state could get light to moderate rainfall and chances of a big weather system or its impact on West Bengal are minimal on this day. However, another cyclonic circulation which is expected to develop later on 27 September over North-East Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood is likely to affect our state heavily.

The system is likely to intensify as a low-pressure area and move towards the West Bengal coast during the morning hours of around 29 September” added the RMC official. According to the weather officials, the system is expected to trigger heavy downpour in almost all the coastal districts of West Bengal and cause high winds in the state.

Meanwhile, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation has asked the residents of dilapidated buildings to shift out to relief centres before the onset of the storm. Schools in boroughs will be used as relief centres.

Also, a joint control room has been opened at Lalbazar by KMC, state Fire and Emergency Services Department and the state Disaster Management and Civil Defence department.

With water woes continue to dog the city and the districts as there is hardly any let-up in water-logging conditions in most of the areas, the Alipore Meteorological office has sounded a more rains alert beginning tomorrow, though ruled out the possibility of any direct impact of the cyclone Gulab.

With most rivers in spate, a lack of de-siltation of canals and clogged drainage fuelled concerns of inundation of low lying areas. With the Met office sounded a more rains alert, Lalbazar, the city police headquarters is gearing up to deal with the situation as it formed a special team comprising officials from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation ( KMC), Public Works Department ( PWD), fire services and private power utility CESC.

A senior officer at Lalbazar said that a “Unified command Centre” has been set up at the Lalbazar Control Room to deal with any eventuality. It would be officiated by Additional commissioner Tanmay Roy Chowdhury as nodal officer and other officers would also be part of the body.

The Unified Command Centre would keep a close watch on areas that are “low lying” and always run the risk of getting inundated even in a small spell of shower. They have earmarked five such areas and their areas of focus would be mainly Kalighat, Bhawanipore, Alipore, Watgunge and Ekbalpore, where 22 teams of Disaster Management Group ( DMG) had been kept ready.

Dwelling on their activities, the officer said that the DMG teams would be pressed into service to the swift evacuation of people to safer places, the shift of distressed people in ‘vulnerable structures’, preparation of a list of condemned buildings.

Besides, River traffic police have also been kept ready to deal with any eventuality and to keep a close watch on the river Hooghly