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Bengal on high alert as Cyclone Mocha intensifies

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the cyclone will gradually intensify into a severe cyclone by Sunday.

West Bengal is on high alert as Cyclone Mocha has intensified into a “very severe” cyclonic storm over the central area in Bay of Bengal, officials said on Friday.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed eight teams and 200 rescuers in West Bengal to deal with any exigencies. Another 100 rescuers have been put on standby.

The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has also placed its units in the region on high alert.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD), which closely monitors the cyclonic storm, said the cyclone will gradually intensify into a severe cyclone by Sunday.

The cyclone is expected to make landfall along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, packing winds of up to 150-160 km per hour.

The IMD has predicted a storm surge of 1.5-2 metres for the low-lying coastal region of Bangladesh near Cox’s Bazaar.

The weather office has asked fishermen and travellers not to venture into central and northeast Bay of Bengal and north Andaman sea till Sunday, officials said.

Alert has been issued for some northeastern states and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The emergency operation centres are working round the clock to handle any natural calamities, officials said.

Tripura and Mizoram are likely to get heavy showers tomorrow onwards, while Nagaland, Manipur and south Assam will also witness rain at isolated places on Sunday, the IMD said,

“The Cyclonic storm is likely to recurve and on the 12th of May evening, it will intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm over the central Bay of Bengal. On 13th May it will take peak intensity. The system is under continuous surveillance,” IMD senior scientist Sanjeev Dwivedi told new agency ANI.