Kolkata, April 30 (IANS) Tourists in West Bengal’s coastal areas have been asked not to go near the sea between May 2 and 4, with fishermen warned not to venture into the seas from May 2 in view of the developing severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ which is expected to trigger heavy showers in the coastal districts where wind speeds may go up to 110-115 km per hour, officials and weather experts said on Monday.
“Fishermen have been asked not to venture into the seas from May 2. The tourists who are visiting the coastal areas of West Bengal, have been asked to stay away from the sea from May 2-4,” the officials said.
All fishermen who have already gone to the deep seas, have been asked to return to the shore by Wednesday, and refrain from venturing into the waters till further notification.
The East Midnapore district administration has been asked to take all preventive measures and maintain strong vigil on the Digha, Mandarmani and other beaches so as to stop visitors from bathing on the three days on the turbulent sea. Water sports activities will also remain cancelled.
Fishermen associations have been advised not to sail any boat during the period.
A high-level meeting, presided over by Chief Secretary Malay De was held at the state secretariat to discuss emergency measures and arrangements to tackle any effects of Fani. All government departments concerned and senior officials of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation took part in the deliberations.
While the coastal and riverine areas like Howrah, Hooghly, East Midnapore and South 24 Parganas are likely to get hit more, northern West Bengal could face the effect of the cyclone on May 3.
At the KMC headquarters here, Municipal Commissioner Khalil Ahmed held a meeting with senior officials of related departments.
The KMC’s parks and gardens department has been instructed to keep ready its workforce and machinery for removing uprooted trees and broken branches if the situation so develops, The building, lighting sewerage, drainage and solid waste management departments have also been asked to attend to emergency situations quickly.
The cyclone, which is now lying around 1,170 km away from Kolkata, is expected to travel in a north-west direction but by Wednesday afternoon it would move in a north-east direction and make landfall on the Odisha coast.
Heavy showers are predicted over West Bengal, especially in its southern parts, on May 3 and 4, while thunder storm with gusty wind speed reaching 30-40 kms per hour with lighting is likely to occur at one or two places over East and West Midnapore, North and South 24 Parganas, and Jhargram districts of Gangetic West Bengal on Wednesday.
On May 2, thunder squall with wind speeds reaching 50-60 km per hour accompanied by lighting is likely to occur at one or two places over the districts of Gangetic West Bengal.
On May 3, the weather office has forecast heavy rains of 7-11 cm at one or two places over coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal, alongside squally wind of 60-70 km per hour, gusting to 85 km per hour.
Heavy rainfall warnings have been issued for the south Bengal districts on May 4, when some of the districts could also experience very heavy showers.
The coastal districts may be hit by thunderstorms with maximum wind speed reaching up to 110-115 kms per hour. In other south Bengal districts, the storm may have a maximum wind speed of 70-75 kms.