Cyclone 'Sitrang' to affect several Indian states, high alert issued
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday issued an advisory after a deep depression in the Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclone—named Sitrang by Thailand—on Sunday. Several states, including West Bengal and the northeast, have been put on high alert as they are likely to witness heavy rainfall and strong winds. Sitrang is expected to reach the West Bengal-Bangladesh coast on Tuesday.
Why does this story matter?
- At least seven states in the country's north-eastern region are likely to witness cyclone Sitrang's impact, per the IMD. Most of these states have, in the past, faced massive damage due to storms, floods, and cyclones.
- Following the IMD's advisory, normal life has been hit in these states as the respective governments have restricted the movement of people while rescue teams are on standby.
High alert in seven states
The seven states that have been put on high alert include Tripura, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, West Bengal, and Nagaland. The IMD has issued a "red alert," indicating great danger in five states, including Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Assam, and Nagaland. An "orange alert" was issued in Arunachal Pradesh and West Bengal. Meanwhile, north coastal Odisha is also likely to witness heavy rains.
Cyclone to cross Bangladesh coast on Tuesday
Cyclonic storm “SITRANG” near lat 17.00N long 88.30E, about 520 km south of Sagar Island and 670 km south-southwest of Barisal (Bangladesh). To move north-northeastwards and intensify further into a SCS in next 12 hrs. To cross Bangladesh coast between Tinkona Island Sandwip pic.twitter.com/CWANKg5AP0— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) October 23, 2022
Heavy rainfall expected in cyclone prone areas
The IMD has predicted heavy to extremely heavy rainfall along with strong winds speeding up to 60km/h for the north-east region of the country on Monday. The weather department also said that coastal areas of West Bengal would receive heavy rainfall due to cyclone Sitrang, while Tripura is likely to be the worst-hit, receiving up to 200mm of rainfall.
Authorities on toes to deal with emerging situation
Authorities in the aforementioned states are on their toes and additional forces of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and state disaster response teams have been deployed. Following the cyclone warning, Debashish Kumar, Mayor-in-Council, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), told Hindustan Times, "Necessary precautions have been worked out. Teams will be deployed in the control room and every borough office for 24 hours."
Restrictions in place, leaves canceled; educational institutions shut
The Tripura government has canceled the leaves of its employees for a week following the IMD's advisory. Schools have also been closed for three days starting Monday. The movement of vehicles is reportedly being regulated in some areas to facilitate the movement of relief teams. Meanwhile, the IMD has advised fishermen in northern coastal regions not to venture into the sea till Tuesday.
Cyclone named 'Sitrang' by Thailand
Notably, the cyclone's name—Sitrang—was given by Thailand; it's reportedly an ethnic Thai surname. It is one among the 169 names enlisted by the IMD in 2020. Countries are listed in alphabetic order and they propose a set of cyclone names that are neutral to gender, politics, religious faiths, and cultures. The last cyclone, Asani was named by Sri Lanka, and now it's Thailand's turn.