Cyclone Titli gaining strength, heavy rain likely from

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Kolkata: The Met department Tuesday said the cyclone Titli brewing in the Bay of Bengal is gaining strength and is likely to cause heavy to very heavy rain from Thursday in Gangetic West Bengal, causing concern among organisers of Durga Pujas which is round the corner.

The deep depression over west central Bay of Bengal has intensified into the cyclonic storm and lay centred about 860 km south-southwest of Kolkata at 11.30 am, the Met department said.

It is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm during next 24 hours, the Met department said in its bulletin at 4.30 pm.

The storm is likely to cross Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh coasts between Gopalpur and Kalingapatnam around morning of October 11.

Thereafter, it is very likely to recurve northeastwards, move towards Gangetic West Bengal across coastal Odisha and weaken gradually, the weatherman said.

Owing to the formation of ‘Titli’, heavy to very heavy rain is very likely to occur in Gangetic West Bengal from October 10 to October 12, the Met said.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea along and off West Bengal and Odisha coasts, deep sea areas of North Bay and Central Bay of Bengal from October nine to October 12.

“Squally wind speed reaching 55 to 65 km per hour, gusting to 75 kmph is likely over deep sea areas of central and adjoining north Bay of Bengal on October 9 and gradually increase to 80 to 90 kmph, gusting to 100 kmph from October 10 evening to October 11 forenoon,” the Met said.

Organisers of thousands of Durga Pujas in Kolkata and other south Bengal districts are worried over the formation of the cyclone just before the commencement of the biggest festival in the state.

Mahasasthi, the beginning of the four-day festival that sees lakhs of pandal hoppers on the streets falls on Monday. Final touches are being given at the pandals with the idols of goddess Durga and her four children have arrived at many places.

The cyclone may mar the efforts of the organisers to decorate their pandals in different themes or in traditional way, for which crores of rupees have been spent and preparations have been made for months.

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