Residents search for their belongings amid the
© Rabin Chowdhury/AFP
Residents search for their belongings amid the debis of their collapsed huts in Chittagong.
As cyclone Sitrang battered parts of Bangladesh on Monday, at least nine people lost their lives, including three members of a family in Cumilla, two in Bhola and one each in Narail, Shariatpur, Barguna and Dhaka. Most deaths were reported after uprooted trees fell on them. Following the casualties, a monitoring cell by the Fire Service and Civil Defence was made functional.

Roads remained cut off for a couple of hours due to the falling of uprooted trees and light poles. However, with strong winds subsiding, the roads were cleared. Mobile networks and internet services in coastal areas were also affected during the landfall of the Cyclonic storm.The network was restored later. The power supply was affected in Pirojpur and Madaripur districts.

Bangladesh government had prepared 7,030 cyclone shelters in 15 coastal districts to evacuate those residing in coastal areas. Over 2 lac people were evacuated from coastal districts and shifted to the cyclone shelters. While the Cyclone lost its intensity after its landfall, coastal areas of Bangladesh are still receiving rainfall.

Cyclone Sitrang weakens into depression

India Meteorological Department department on Tuesday said that "Cyclone 'SITRANG' further weakened into a Depression and lay centered at 0530 hrs IST of over northeast Bangladesh and neighborhood about 90 km north-northeast of Agartala, and 100 km south-southwest of Shillong. Cyclone Sitrang crossed the Bangladesh coast near Barisal after skirting the West Bengal coast.

The weather in the southern West Bengal districts is likely to improve from the forenoon, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

Heavy rainfall alert in 4 Indian states

Under the influence of Cyclone Sitrang, a red alert indicating heavy to very heavy and extremely heavy rainfall has been issued for Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura on Monday. Widespread rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms, lightning, and heavy to very heavy and extremely heavy rain at isolated places is very likely to occur over Tripura on Monday and Tuesday, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday. "Under Sitrang influence, widespread rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms/lightning/heavy to very heavy and extremely heavy rain at isolated places is very likely to occur over Tripura on 24th & 25th October 2022," IMD said in a press release.

The system, which moved towards Bangladesh from the north Bay of Bengal at a speed of 56 kmph caused moderate to heavy rain and squally weather in West Bengal's coastal districts of South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur, dampening festive spirits in Deepavali and Kali Puja.

Intermittent showers on Monday 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 Kali Puja pandals and see the bright lights of the city. The West Bengal government had advised people take necessary precautions in view of the weather forecast.