Kolkata/London: Fears of a cyclone hitting the West Bengal coast on Thursday has forced Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to cut short her trip to London and rush back home.
"I am taking the night flight back from London because of the impending cyclone. Have spoken to Home Secretary. Taking all precautions," Banerjee tweeted on Wednesday.
In London on a five-day visit to foster ties between West Bengal and Britain as well as explore possibilities of foreign investment in the state, she was originally slated to return on Friday.
"Speaking to senior officials in Bengal monitoring closely the impending cyclone. Exploring possibility of returning from London a day early," she tweeted earlier on Wednesday.
Her flight will take off from London at 2 a.m. on Wednesday and will take her to New Delhi. She will arrive at Kolkata at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
The rest of the delegation, excepting MPs Derek O'Brien and Sugata Bose, and city mayor Sovan Chattejree, will, however, stay back and return as per schedule.
Her party's official Twitter handle tweeted, "I feel my presence is required in for monitoring the situation. I have decided to leave for Kolkata tonight: WB CM".
According to the Indian Meteorological Department forecast issued on Tuesday, a depression is set over north-east Bay of Bengal and adjoining coastal areas of Bangladesh and Bengal.
"Because of this heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur at isolated places over the Gangetic West Bengal during next 48 hours and heavy to very heavy at a few places during the subsequent 24 hours," the IMD said.