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Cyclone Bulbul: Flight ops suspended, 1.2 lakh moved in Bengal

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cyclonic storm Bulbul

Kolkata, Nov 9 : All flight operations in Kolkata airport have been suspended for 12 hours, and over 1.20 lakh people evacuated from the vulnerable coastal areas of West Bengal, as Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Bulbul’ increased its ferocity with a wind speed of 125-135 km gusting to 150 km, and could make landfall between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Saturday triggering a storm surge, officials said.

“Due to impact of Cyclone bulbul with strong cross winds and likely wind shear in approaches, flight operations at Kolkata airport will be discontinued from 6 p.m. on Saturday to 6 a.m. on Sunday,” an airport official said.

In its latest update, the met office said Bulbul now lay lay centred around 185 km south east of the eastern metropolis and 85 kilometres south of Sagar island in South 24 Parganas district.

The storm is likely to weaken gradually and move northeastwards and cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Sagar island and Bangladesh’s Khepurpara across Sundarban delta between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 110-120 km per hour, gusting to 135 km per hour.

Light to moderate rainfall with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall is continuing over coastal districts of the state. Canning recorded three centimeters, Kolkata, diamond Harbour and Haldia two centimeters, and Digha one centimeters of rainfall between 8.30 a.m. and 11-30 a.m. during the day.

The Regional Meteorological Centre said during the time of landfall, there could be a storm surge of about one to two metres height in 24 Parganas North and 24 Parganas South district and 0.5 to 1 m height in East Midnapore district above the astronomical tide which is likely to inundate low lying areas.

The maximum extent of inundation is likely to be around two kilometres over the two Parganas.

State chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who monitored the preventive measures from the special control room set up at the secretariat Nabanna, said “more than 1 lakh 20 thousand people have already been rescued from the vulnerable coastal areas”.

She asked people not to panic.

“Please do not panic. Kindly remain calm and co-operate with the administration in its rescue and relief efforts. Be alert, take care and stay safe,” Banerjee tweeted.

As a safety measure, the state government on Saturday declared closed schools, colleges and anganwadi centres.

“Our State Administration is closely monitoring the situation 24×7. We are taking all measures to tackle any contingency. Special Control Rooms have been set up and NDRF-SDRF teams are deployed”, she said in another twitter post.

A high alert is on in the coastal districts, amidst apprehensions that the storm may impact parts of 24 Parganas North, 24 Parganas South, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Howrah, Kolkata and Jhargram.

Ferry services on various rivers were suspended for the day. With evening descending, buses and cabs disappeared from the city roads, which looked deserted.

Kolkata is away from the core area of Bulbul. The impact will be limited to a wins speed of 50-70 kilometer along with heavy rainfall after 7 pm,” RMC director G C Das said.

The river traffic police personnel were seen patrolling near the ghats of river Hooghly.

Another special control room has been opened at the city police headquarters Lalbazar, for maintaining contact with various departments.

The police authorities were coordinating with Kolkata Municipal Corporation officials on alerting dwellers of old houses and also to ensure express removal of uprooted trees as a likely effect of the storm.

The disaster response teams have been kept ready with relief and rescue materials to tackle any calamity in the wake of the storm. The central government has been in constant touch with the senior figures of the state administration.

People have been warned not to come close to the sea in the coastal districts.

The fishermen have been barred from venturing into the sea adjoining the Sundarbans delta on Saturday and Sunday.

Hotels in the coastal tourist resorts of Digha, Bakkhali, AMandarmoni, Talsari, Shankarpur and Bakkhali have been largely emptied of tourists.

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UP woman commits suicide after allegedly being beaten up by police

Her family members said Yogesh Pathak beat up Nishu at the station. She was called to Kotwali by police again on Saturday and was stressed about it.

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Suicide

Jalaun, Aug 10 : A 22-year-old woman committed suicide in Uttar Pradesh’s Jalaun after she was allegedly beaten up by a police inspector.

The incident took place in Naya Ramnagar area.

The deceased, Nishu Chaudhary, was found hanging by a noose at her house on Saturday. The family rushed her to the hospital but doctors declared her dead.

According to Nishu’s family, she had gone to the market in Baldau Chowk on Friday afternoon.

Some shopkeepers accused the victim and two of her friends of stealing passports and caught them. They called the police and handed them over to inspector Yogesh Pathak.

Police took the three to the Kotwali police station and after questioning they were handed over to their relatives.

Her family members said Yogesh Pathak beat up Nishu at the station. She was called to Kotwali by police again on Saturday and was stressed about it.

“She was very disturbed since the beating by the inspector,” said a family member.

After Nishu committed suicide, her family went to the police station and created a ruckus, demanding action against the inspector.

Circle Officer (CO) Santosh Kumar reached the spot and assured the family that the matter will be investigated.

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Coronavirus: Covid hits 3,800 central security personnel in northeast

Many Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and National Disaster Response Force personnel have also tested positive for coronavirus.

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BSF Jawan Tripura

Guwahati/Agartala/Aizawl, Aug 10 : As coronavirus spreads across the northeast, nearly 3,800 central security force personnel have so far infected by the disease in almost all the states in the region, officials said on Sunday.

According to the health officials, the eight northeastern states have so far recorded around 75,000 Covid-19 cases, including 57,714 in Assam.

Of the 3,800 Covid cases among the central armed forces personnel, the highest number are in Nagaland, at 1,226, followed by 823 in Manipur, 738 in Arunachal Pradesh, 360 in Tripura, 350 in Mizoram and 300 in Meghalaya. Many of their family members, including children, were also infected.

A significant chunk of the coronavirus patients among the central forces are from the Border Security Force (BSF). Two BSF jawans in Tripura and one in Meghalaya also succumbed to the highly infectious virus.

Many Indian Army, Indian Air Force, and National Disaster Response Force personnel have also tested positive for coronavirus.

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga even made a plea to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure suspension of Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF) movement into the state till August 31, noting that around 70 per cent of Covid-19 positive cases in the state are from the military and paramilitary forces.

A senior BSF official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told IANS that the BSF men and other central force personnel, after completion of their leave period or when they are transferred, have to move by train or by air for their destinations from different parts of the country. “During transit or in their hazardous duties along the borders or various vulnerable places, the jawans come in contact with the dreaded virus,” the official said.

As the eight northeastern states share over 5,000 km of borders with China, Myanmar Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal and some are also battling against terrorism, there is a heavy deployment of armed forces as well as central paramilitary forces in the region.

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Karnataka Health Minister Sriramulu tests Covid positive

To reassure the people of Karnataka, the health minister said, under the leadership of the chief ministers, all the departments of the state government, including the health department, have been working hard against the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu

Karnataka health minister B Sriramulu tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, barely a week after chief minister BS Yediyurappa tested positive for the viral infection last Sunday.

Taking to Twitter, Sriramulu said that he was tested after he went down with flu-like symptoms. He added that he was hospitalised because he had been visiting the state’s 30 districts amid the spike in coronavirus cases in the state. The health minister has been admitted to the state-run Bowring Hospital in Bengaluru.

“From the time of Corona’s appearance, I have had the opportunity to visit the 30 districts and work in harmony with the government’s desire to treat people well. It is in this backdrop that I am going to be hospitalised and treated,” he said in Kannada in a series of tweets.

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