Cyclonic storm “Midhili”: Heavy rainfall disturb normal life in Tripura, red alert issued for four districts
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the cyclonic storm “Midhili”, currently over the Northwest and adjoining Northeast Bay of Bengal, is likely to cross the Bangladesh coast on Friday night.
Several areas in the state capital city Agartala, especially parts of HGB Road, Shakuntala Road and Orient Chowmuhani, were waterlogged and the municipality removed flood water from inundated areas with pumps.
Heavy gusts of winds and torrential rainfall battered several parts of Tripura, including Agartala, on Friday amid a red alert issued by the India Meteorological Department.
A revenue department report said that while a red alert was sounded for South Tripura, Gomati, Sepahijala and Dhalai for Friday, an orange alert was sounded for the rest of the districts. A yellow alert, which signifies moderate risk and heavy rainfall, was sounded across the state for Saturday.
India Meteorological department (IMD) Agartala station in its weather forecast has also issued warning and said that extremely heavy rainfall along with thunderstorm with lightning is very likely to occur at isolated places in all districts of Tripura and the cyclonic storm “Midhili” over Northwest Bay of Bengal now moved north-northeast wards with a speed of 26 kmph during past 6 hours and lay centered at 80.30 am on Friday over Northwest and adjoining Northeast Bay of Bengal .It is likely to continue to move north-northeast wards and cross Bangladesh coast close to Khepupara with wind speed of 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph and the cyclonic storm “Midhili” is likely to continue to move North-Northeast wards a d cross Bangladesh coast close to Khepupara during night of November 17th and early hours of November 18.
Under the influence of cyclonic storm, all the districts of Tripura including the capital city Agartala since early morning of Friday receiving incessant rain and disturbing normal life across the state.
The IMD bulletin said, it predicted an increase in rainfall activity accompanied by heavy rain at isolated places in Tripura on Friday and Saturday.
The IMD office at Agartala said that extremely heavy rainfall, of at least 21 cm or more, was very likely to occur in the Gomati, South Tripura, Sepahijala and Dhalai districts on Friday. Heavy (7-11 cm) and very heavy rainfall (11-30 cm) is likely to occur in the North Tripura, Unakoti, Khowai and West Tripura districts. Heavy rainfall is likely to occur across the state on Saturday.
All passenger aircraft operated by the IndiGo airline were cancelled. Four flights—three operated by IndiGo and one by Akasa Air—were unable to land at Maharaja Bir Bikram (Agartala) Airport owing to low visibility amid heavy downpour and had to be diverted to Kolkata and Guwahati.
The IMD said that visibility was likely to become poor owing to intense rainfall. Temporary disruption of traffic due to water logging, uprooting of trees, and damage to vulnerable structures and kutcha houses and huts are also likely. The warning also spelt out possibilities of flash floods leading to waterlogging and flooding in low-lying areas. Landslides and mudslides are also very likely in some areas. Possible crop damage and lightning risks for people and cattle have also been mentioned.
The government has issued a set of advisories to assess the situation regularly and alert the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), Tripura State Rifles (TSR), fire and emergency services, trained volunteers and quick response teams if necessary. The government has also directed that equipment like boats, life jackets and other flood rescue items be kept ready.
Authorities were asked to evacuate people from low-lying areas to safe shelters and start providing relief if needed, to monitor the status of river flows, embankments and catchment areas and to take immediate preventive and preparedness measures. However, no confirmation of people being sheltered in any relief camp was available till the latest reports came in.
However, in the bulletin, the IMD said that Thursday’s deep depression over West Central Bay of Bengal intensified into the cyclonic storm “Midhili” over the Northwest Bay of Bengal as of 5.30 a.m. on Friday.
“It moved north-northeast wards with a speed of 26 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 8.30 am on Friday more over Northwest and adjoining Northeast Bay of Bengal. It is likely to continue to move north-northeast wards and cross Bangladesh coast close to Khepupara with wind speed of 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph during Friday night,” it said.
The IMD further predicted that light to moderate rainfall is very likely at many places with isolated heavy rainfall is likely over coastal districts of West Bengal (North 24 Parganas) till Friday evening.
“Light to moderate rainfall is expected at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely over Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura on Friday and Saturday with extremely heavy fall at isolated places over Mizoram and Tripura on Friday,” said the IMD.
The heavy torrential rain and shower had struck Agartala and its vicinity also since Thursday night and incessant rains hit the city and other districts under the influence of cyclonic storm “Midhili”.
Reports from other parts of the state said, the incessant rains also disturbed the normal life. MET department sources said, rain and heavy rain to continue in more areas of Tripura during next 24 hours.
With the continuous rain since early hours of Friday all the low-lying areas of Agartala have been partially submerged with rain water and traffic movements hit partial road-blocks in the afternoon of Friday.
The showers have further cooled the air in the state capital with maximum temperatures plunging to near 28.2 degrees Celsius and minimum temperature recorded at 21.2 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, there are reports of moderate damages to crops and destroyed electric lines due to incessant rains in several parts of the state. The power supply in and around Agartala has also been disturbed badly due to incessant rains.