1.1 million evacuated, at least 65 killed as Tropical Cyclone “Remal” hits Bangladesh and India

tropical cyclone remal 0130 utc on may 27 2024 himawari-9

Severe Cyclonic Storm “Remal” crossed Bangladesh’s southern port of Mongla and the Sagar Islands in India’s West Bengal on May 26, 2024. Over 1.1 million people were evacuated before the storm, which caused at least 65 deaths and extensive damage.

Severe Cyclonic Storm “Remal” crossed the southern port of Mongla in Bangladesh and the adjoining Sagar Islands in India’s West Bengal late Sunday (LT), May 26, 2024.

The governments of India and Bangladesh evacuated more than 1.1 million people ahead of the landfall, with over 1 million evacuated in Bangladesh and 110 000 in West Bengal. Evacuations in West Bengal focused on South 24 Parganas, particularly Sagar Island, Sundarbans, and Kakdwip.

Remal made landfall with winds reaching approximately 135 km/h (84 mph) at around 20:30 LT, with the process lasting about five hours before weakening into a cyclone on Monday morning.

The death toll in Bangladesh has risen to at least 10 people, with more than 30 000 homes destroyed and tens of thousands more damaged, according to top local officials on Monday, May 27. “They mostly died after they were crushed under fallen houses or collapsed walls,” said Showkat Ali, government administrator of Barisal district, where seven people died. Three others died in neighboring districts.

Rain flooded roads and disrupted travel in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, where authorities had set up nearly 8 000 cyclone shelters and deployed 78 000 volunteers in preparation for the storm.

In India, one person died in Kolkata, the capital of West Bengal, due to a wall collapse, a senior NDRF officer reported on Monday. Another fatality occurred when a mud home collapsed on the island of Mousuni in the Sundarbans delta.

Kolkata recorded 146 mm of rain between 08:30 on Sunday and 05:30 on Monday, with other areas such as Haldia (110 mm), Tamluk (70 mm), and Nimpith (70 mm) also experiencing heavy rainfall during this period.

Remal disrupted air, rail, and road transportation in Kolkata and southern Bengal. The Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port in Kolkata also halted operations.

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) mobilized 15 000 civic employees to manage post-cyclone recovery efforts, including the removal of uprooted trees.

The Eastern, Northeast Frontier, and South Eastern Railways canceled several trains, and the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata suspended flight operations for 21 hours, affecting 394 flights. The airport resumed operations at 09:00 today.

Fourteen teams from the federal contingency force are engaged in restoration and rescue work, clearing uprooted trees, electric poles, and helping people from marooned areas in West Bengal, said Showkat Ali. These teams have removed about 54 uprooted trees, two electric poles, and cleared approximately 18 km of roads in affected areas of Hasnabad, Sandeshkhali, Gosaba, Sagar, Shyampur, and Haringhata, he added.

Remal is expected to weaken into a deep depression by this evening, but heavy rains are forecasted to continue. The Assam State Disaster Management Authority (ASDMA) has issued warnings of extremely heavy rainfall across Assam and other northeastern states on May 27 and 28. Orange and Red alerts have been issued for various districts, anticipating severe weather conditions.

The Meghalaya government has advised residents to prepare emergency kits, avoid unnecessary travel, and stay updated with weather reports. Tripura’s government closed all educational institutions on May 27 and 28 and suspended flight operations on the Kolkata-Agartala route until Monday morning.

Millions of people are still without power.

India’s navy has put ships, aircraft, divers, and medical supplies on standby for rescue operations.

tropical cyclone remal jtwc fcst may 27 2024


16:33 UTC, May 29

The death toll rose to at least 65 on Wednesday, May 29. At least 17 fatalities were reported in Bangladesh and 48 in India. The majority of fatalities were reported in Mizoram — 28.


1 Cyclone Remal Live Updates: One killed in Kolkata as Cyclone Remal ravages parts of Bengal, says NDRF – TOI – May 27, 2024

2 Cyclone Remal kills four, snaps power links to millions in India, Bangladesh – Reuters – May 27, 2024


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