West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday urged the people of the state to stay indoors in case there is heavy rainfall and storm as a result of Cyclone Sitrang which is likely to cross the Bangladesh coast later.
She also requested the people who were evacuated from the coastal areas to safe shelters to cooperate with the state administration and not return home until the threat of the Cyclone is over.
"It (Cyclone Sitrang) will make landfall in Bangladesh around midnight in Barisal. Light rain and wind will continue in West Bengal till October 25. This may also bring storm here," Banerjee told reporters at her Kalighat residence here, where she is organising a Kali Puja.
The chief minister is monitoring the Cyclone situation from her residence.
Banerjee asked people to celebrate Kali puja and Diwali but remain inside their houses if there is a storm and heavy rainfall.
"I will request those who have been evacuated to safe shelters not to return home until the threat is over as you cannot predict anything about natural calamities. Things may take sudden turns anytime. This is mainly for those from the critical areas of Sunderbans and Sagar Island, she said.
West Bengal Governor La Ganesan paid a visit to Banerjee's residence and offered his prayers to Goddess Kali.
Intermittent showers since morning forced people to remain indoors as most Kolkata streets wore a deserted look on a festive evening which would normally have attracted tens of thousands to visit marquees with idols of Goddess Kali.
Squally wind accompanied by light to moderate rain affected normal life in the coastal districts of the state.
Moving at a speed of 33 kmph in a north-northeastward direction, cyclone 'Sitrang' lay 260 kmph southeast of Sagar island at 2.30 pm over the northwest Bay of Bengal and is very likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm, packing wind speed of 90 to 100 kmph, gusting to 110 kmph by Monday night.
It is likely to cross the Bangladesh coast between Tinkona island and Sandwip near Barisal early on Tuesday, the weather office said.
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