The cyclonic storm Remal over the Bay of Bengal has intensified into a severe one and is expected to cross West Bengal’s Sagar Island and Bangladesh’s Khepupara on Sunday night, the India Meteorological Department said.

The weather agency, in a bulletin issued at 11.30 am, said that by midnight, the storm is likely to continue to move northwards, intensify further and cross the Bangladesh and West Bengal coasts. The storm is likely to have a maximum sustained wind speed of 110-120 kilometres per hour gusting to 135 kilometres per hour.

As of Sunday afternoon, the cyclone was situated around 210 kilometres away from Sagar Island, the weather agency said on social media, adding that a maximum wind speed of 95 kilometres per hour to 105 kilometres per hour prevailed around the centre of the storm.

The cyclone is set to bring extremely heavy rainfall to the coastal districts of West Bengal and along the districts adjacent to Bangladesh, the bulletin said. “The peak rainfall activity is likely during noon of 26th to noon of 27th May.”

The India Meteorological Department also predicted heavy rainfall in certain parts of Odisha and the northeastern states.

According to the bulletin, damage – including to vulnerable structures, trees, communication lines and roads – is expected in West Bengal’s South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogly, Kolkata and East Medinipur districts.

This is the first cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal in this pre-monsoon season.

In view of the impact of the cyclone, flight operations from the Kolkata airport have been suspended for 21 hours, PTI reported.