Millions evacuated as Cyclone Bulbul makes impact

November 11 2019 by Andrew Tjaardstra

Cyclone Bulbul made landfall on Saturday night [November 9] between Bangladesh and India at the Sundarbans – the world’s largest mangrove forest.

The powerful storm brought sustained winds of 74 km/hr with gusts of up to 120 km/hr, shutting down airports and seaside ports.

Rainfall has been torrential, with the Indian city of Kolkata in West Bengal picking up 101 mm of rain in just 18 hours. Canning, in the south east received 202mm in 24 hours. To the south in Odisha state, Paradip received 172mm and Chandbali was not far behind with 162mm in just 24 hours.

Over 400,000 people have been evacuated from at-risk areas in Bangladesh with over 50,000 volunteers going door to door to move people to safety from areas below sea level; up to 1.8 million people altogether were expected to be evacuated.

In India, officials said that nearly 120,000 people have been moved, with meteorologists saying that the cyclone was likely to weaken from “very severe” to “severe” as it crossed the coast.

India and Bangladesh are regularly hit by strong storms and insurers and brokers will be activating their  storm procedures to assess claims.

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