A cyclonic storm brewing in the Bay of Bengal lay 1,220 km south-southwest of Digha in West Bengal on Saturday morning, and is likely to bring heavy to very heavy rain in the coastal districts of the state from May 19, the Met office said here.
The system is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by Sunday evening and move north-northwestwards till May 17, Regional Met Director G K Das said.
It is very likely to recurve north-northeastwards thereafter towards the West Bengal coast during May 18 to 20, he said.
Under its impact, the coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal, including North and South 24 Parganas, Kolkata, East and West Midnapore, Howrah and Hooghly will experience heavy to very heavy rain on May 19 and 20, Das said.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into north Bay of Bengal along and off West Bengal-Odisha coasts from May 18 to 21, and those who are out in the sea were asked to return to coasts by May 17.
Sea condition will be very high to phenomenal over north Bay of Bengal on May 19 and 20, Das said.
Wind speeds along and off the coastal areas of West Bengal will reach 45 to 55 kmph with gusts of 65 kmph from May 19 afternoon, and will gradually increase to 75 to 85 kmph with gusts up to 90 kmph from the morning of May 20, the weatherman said.
Separately, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) today reviewed the preparedness for the impending cyclone, which is likely to hit Odisha and West Bengal coast, and directed immediate assistance to the two states.
A meeting of NCMC, headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, was held here to take stock of the preparation for the impending cyclone over the Bay of Bengal, an official statement said.
The cabinet secretary took stock of the current situation and preparedness for rescue and relief operations and directed that immediate assistance, as required, be provided, it said.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) informed that the depression, which has developed over the Bay of Bengal, is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and cross Odisha and West Bengal coasts by May 20.
Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall, accompanied by high speed winds and tidal waves are expected.
During the meeting, officers of the concerned state governments confirmed their preparedness to deal with any emerging situation arising out of the cyclonic storm.
Further, the state governments have adequately warned fishermen not to venture into the sea, the statement said.
Cyclone shelters have been readied and areas requiring evacuation of people identified.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Armed Forces and the Indian Coast Guard have been put on alert and are coordinating with the state government authorities.
They are prepositioning themselves adequately. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is also in continuous touch with the state governments and concerned central agencies
Senior officials of the Ministries of Home, Defence, as well as those from IMD, NDMA and NDRF, attended the meeting.
Chief secretaries and other senior officers from the state governments participated in the meeting through video conference.