The Sagar Island on the Bay of Bengal was the first point where Cyclone Bulbul made its landfall at around 6 in the evening with a speed reaching up to 120 kilometres per hour before it moved towards Dhablahat, Sibpur, Chemaguri, Mousuni Island, Bakkhali, G Plot, Brajaballavpur, Sridharnagar, Patharpratima and Canning. Bulbul took its first casualty in Kolkata as a person was crushed to death after an uprooted tree fell on him at Ballygunge this morning.
The deceased has been identified as Seikh Sohail ( 28), a resident of Bihar, who had been living at a rented house at Tangra. According to the police, he used to work as a cook at CCFC club at Ballygunge. He went to the club for work. The incident happened as soon as he entered the club premise. An officer at Lalbazar quoting an eyewitness of the club said that the deceased was about to enter the club when an uprooted tree, which was dangling precariously under the impact of the gusty wind, fell on Sohail and he collapsed under its impact. On being rushed to hospital, he was declared “brought dead”.
Meanwhile, the intensity of wind weakened gradually as Cyclone Bulbul moved northeastwards before moving to Bangladesh overnight. Both the districts of North and South 24 Parganas are likely to witness heavy to extremely heavy rainfall at one or two places over next 48 hours. The city also witnessed an incessant rainfall since morning and the intensity of the rainfall only increased from afternoon as Bulbul hit the coastline. “By the time the cyclone hits the Bengal coast, the city is expected to receive heavy rainfall accompanied with gusty wind reaching up to 60 kilometres per hour. The intensity of rainfall will decrease from Sunday morning after the cyclone moves further into the land. The weather will change from Monday onwards,” said the weatherman.
As the cyclone Bulbul intensified its fury, South 24 Parganas was lashed with heavy rainfall accompanied with gusty wind since Saturday morning. The district administration remained on high alert overnight as the few remaining tourists in Sagar Islands, Frasergunj and other parts of Sunderbans were evacuated. Thousands of locals living along the coastline of the district have already been shifted to safer locations. About 44,000 people have been evacuated from South 24 Parganas while 43,000 were evacuated from North 24 Parganas. The cyclone hit Bakkhali at around 9pm with a wind speed of 115 to 120kilometres per hour. Jharkhali, Kakdwip, Patharpratima and parts of East Midnapur including Nandigram, Khejuri, Ramnagar and Nayachar have been badly affected.
State transport minister Mr Suvendu Adhikari visited the district to take stock of the situation. The cyclone is expected to drift towards Bangladesh after 2am. Meanwhile, train services between Lakshmikantapur and Namkhana had to be stopped at around 7.10pm. District magistrate Dr P Ulaganathan reviewed the safety arrangements at Lot 8 in Kachuberia this morning. Number of relief camps opened across WB is 318, while the number of persons in relief camps is 1,08,515.