Cyclone Remal Causes Destruction in West Bengal and Bangladesh

Cyclone Remal made landfall between the coasts of West Bengal & Bangladesh on 26th May 2024 at around 8:30 pm leaving behind 3 dead and a trail of destruction in both the countries.

Storms and cyclones, once rare, have become more frequent due to global warming. The latest cyclone, Cyclone Remal, hit the coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh on May 26, 2024, around 8:30 pm, causing extensive damage.

Cyclone Remal made landfall between Sagar Island in West Bengal and Khepupara near Southwest Mongla in Bangladesh. The cyclone brought strong winds, heavy rains, and flooding, affecting homes and farmlands.

Nearly 800,000 people were evacuated from the coastal areas of West Bengal starting May 25, 2024, as a precaution. The coastal regions experienced gale-force winds of 100-115 kmph, with gusts reaching 135 kmph. North Odisha also faced winds of 40-55 kmph.

The storm blew away roofs of thatched huts and flattened mud houses in West Bengal and Bangladesh. Many areas lost power as electricity poles were knocked down by the winds. Dozens of trees were uprooted, and authorities worked overnight to clear them.

Low-lying areas near Kolkata experienced severe flooding. Several housing societies in Kolkata shut elevator services and tied trees with ropes to prevent them from falling. Ports, railways, and highways were on high alert, and Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport suspended flight operations for 21 hours, affecting 394 flights. This led to high airfares, with one passenger paying ?79,403 for a Kolkata to Mumbai flight via Chennai.

Schools, educational centers, and offices were closed on May 27 and 28, 2024. The Sundarbans delta, the world's largest mangrove forest shared by India and Bangladesh, suffered heavy damage with high tides breaching many areas.

Cyclone Remal also brought light to moderate rainfall to Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, and Tripura. The National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) deployed 14 teams across 9 districts of West Bengal and 1 team in North Odisha.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged residents to stay indoors and assured them of full government support. Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting on May 26, 2024, to review the response to Cyclone Remal. The National Crisis Management Committee kept regular contact with the West Bengal government and the NDRF to monitor the situation.

Fishermen were advised to stay out of the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea until May 28, 2024.