With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Calcutta High Court’s order declaring all the pandals in the state as “no-entry zones”, the Durga Puja celebrations in West Bengal have already been made a low-key affair this year.

Adding salt to the injury is the Regional Meteorological Centre in Kolkata, which has claimed that the four festive days in the state will be hit by heavy rains and storm.

So much so that a flood alert has been initiated in the southern part of the state. National Disaster Management Authority has also deployed adequate number of team in coastal areas of Kakdwip, Hasanabad and Digha.

On Wednesday, the sky in Kolkata was already covered by dark clouds. The meteorological centre predicts, on Thursday, which will be Saptami, West Bengal will witness heavy shower. An impending storm may also affect the puja pandals.

The weather forecasters also suggested that the North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas and the Midnapore districts will be the most affected regions by the storm. Kolkata, Hooghly and Howrah districts will also be hit.

A storm, created in the Bay of Bengal, is believed to be heading towards the Bengal coast. It was initially moving towards Andhra Pradesh, but a change in direction saw it facing towards Bengal. After hitting the east coast of Odisha and Bengal, the storm is likely to reach Bangladesh, predicts the meteorological centre.

Midnapore and the two Parganas may witness winds of 37 kmph on Wednesday itself. The speed can increase to a maximum of 50 kmph in the next two days.

The fishermen have been directed to not venture into the sea waters till October 24. As a precautionary measure, the ferry services in Sunderban region has been shut.

In Digha, Mandarmani and other surrounding areas, tourists will be blocked from going out in the beaches by local administration from Thursday till Saturday.