Disaster Management Force personnel were on high alert along the coastal areas of Purba Medinipur and South 24 Parganas districts of West Bengal as Cyclone Mocha developed into a severe cyclonic storm and is likely to hit the coastlines of Bangladesh and Myanmar on Sunday, an official said.
Seven groups of NDRF personnel including divers were deployed in Digha-Mandarmani coastal areas in Purba Medinipur district as the sea turned choppy, the official said.
Over 100 state disaster management group personnel have also been deployed in Bakkhali sea beach in South 24 Parganas district to keep an eye on the movement of tourists and locals who are being forbidden to go near the sea, he said.
Arrangements have been made to evacuate residents of coastal areas in both districts during exigencies as the cyclone is expected to make landfall later in the day.
The breaches in embankments in Sunderbans in particular are being plugged on a war footing while police and administration have put in use loud speakers to warn people from getting near the sea in afternoon.
"Though the weather office has predicted that Cyclone Mocha will dodge past West Bengal, we have taken all precautionary measures in case there is any change. We have shifted people living in the low lying coastal areas of Purba Medinipur, South 24 Parganas to our safe shelters and adequate relief materials have been sent to these areas," another official told PTI.
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Fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea for three days beginning on Friday.
An IMD bulletin here said the cyclone is very likely to cross southern Bangladesh and northern Myanmar as an extremely severe cyclone storm during the day.
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