Disaster Management Force personnel are keeping a watch on the sea resort towns of West Bengal while preventing tourists from going to the beach on Sunday, as cyclone Mocha made landfall along the coasts of Bangladesh and Myanmar, an official said.
Disaster Management Force personnel were on high alert along the coastal areas of Digha and Mandarmani in Purba Medinipur district and Bakkhali and Sundarbans in South 24 Parganas districts.
Seven groups of NDRF personnel including divers were deployed in Digha-Mandarmani coastal areas as the sea turned choppy, the official said.
Over 100 state disaster management group personnel have also been engaged in Bakkhali sea beach in South 24 Parganas district to keep an eye on the movement of tourists.
"We are not allowing tourists to move closer to the sea which has turned choppy. We are regulating movements on the sea beach. We have been asked to be on guard for the next few hours," Bikash Sadhu, one NDRF team member said.
Bappaditya Mukherjee, a tourist from Kolkata holidaying in Bakkhali, said, "We did not go to the sea beach today. It was quite hot. We plan to go near the sea when we are allowed.
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Arrangements have also been made to evacuate residents of coastal areas in both districts in case of emergency.
"The weather office had predicted that Cyclone Mocha will skip West Bengal. However, we have taken all precautionary measures in case there is any change in its route.
We have shifted people living in the low-lying coastal areas of Purba Medinipur and South 24 Parganas districts to safe shelters. Adequate relief materials have also been sent to these areas," another official told PTI.
Fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea for three days beginning on Friday.
Cyclone Mocha made landfall along the Myanmar-Bangladesh coasts on Sunday after intensifying into the equivalent of a category-five storm. It made landfall shortly after midday on the Teknaf shorelines before making its way through the Naf River that divides Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Meanwhile, a report from Port Blair said Cyclone Mocha spared Andaman and Nicobar Islands where adequate precautionary measures had been taken to minimise the possible impact of the calamity.
Speaking to PTI, G K Das, Director (Weather) at IMD Kolkata, said, Andaman and Nicobar Islands were not affected much due to the cyclonic storm because the path was nearly 750 km away from the archipelago.
The islands had experienced rainfall for the past few days.
Normal life was disrupted for the last couple of days in Andaman and Nicobar Islands with the administration stopping fishing, tourism, and movement of ships from the mainland in view of the impending cyclone.
Keeping in view the safety of passengers and vessels, the Directorate of Shipping Services has cancelled the scheduled departure of MV Dering from Diglipur (North Andaman) to Port Blair via Mayabunder (Middle Andaman) till further notice.
Following this, prices of essential commodities such as fish, vegetables and grocery items have skyrocketed, inconveniencing people.
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