Agartala/Aizawl/Silchar, Oct 24: Light to moderate rainfall caused by cyclone Sitrang on Monday affected the normal life in several northeastern states and also dampened the Diwali cheers in the region.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday evening said that cyclonic storm Sitrang, pronounced as “Si-Trang” over Bay of Bengal is very likely to cross Bangladesh coast between Tinkona Island and Sandwip close to Barisal in the early hours of Tuesday.
The IMD said that light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places is likely in north Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur; heavy to extremely heavy rainfall likely in southern Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura on Monday.
Light to moderate rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura on Tuesday and isolated heavy rainfall is likely over Arunachal Pradesh, northeast Assam and Nagaland on Wednesday.
According to IMD, along with heavy to very heavy and extremely heavy rainfall with squally wind speed reaching 50-60 kmph gusting up to 70 kmph is very likely over most of the 8 districts of Tripura.
With rain dampening the spirit of Durga Puja festivities recently in most states of the northeastern region, the unseasonal rains caused by the deep depression and Cyclonic storm “Sitrang” badly affected the Diwali cheerfulness and the festivity in the region.
Though light to moderate rains affected the normal life, no major mishap or damage has been reported yet in the northeastern states.
Over 120 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were airlifted to Tripura from Guwahati to deploy them in various districts to deal with the possible cyclonic and flood situation on Tuesday.
Six of the eight northeastern states on Sunday sounded a maximum alert and asked all the concerned districts, disaster management authorities and agencies to remain alert.
The state governments have asked the NDRF to deploy additional troops in the probable areas, where heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur in view of the cyclone ‘Sitrang’ on Monday to Wednesday.
Maximum rainfall has been predicted up to 200 mm.
Three southern Assam districts -- Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi, all 11 districts of Mizoram, all 8 eight districts of Tripura and most of the 16 districts of Nagaland have taken a series of measures to deal with the possible cyclonic situations.
In Agartala, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha reviewed the situation with all departments, Army and Central para-military forces seeking their active support.
Tripura Information and Cultural Affairs Minister Sushanta Chowdhury while briefing the media said that the state government cancelled the leaves of all officials for the next one week and schools and educational institutions would be closed for three days from October 24.
The Tripura government has taken 30 point steps and actions. These include, regulations of movement of vehicles across the state on October 25 and 26, opening of adequate number of relief with adequate quantities of relief materials, preparing adequate number of Quick Reaction Teams and regular assessment of the situation.