The Indian Meteorological Department today warned that the extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan has intensified into a super cyclone with wind speed above 200 kmph (kilometres per hour) on Monday afternoon. The cyclone is moving at breakneck speed towards the coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh, where it is anticipated to make the landfall on May 20.
Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’: 18th May 2020 (1000 to 1027 IST). Likely to intensify further as Super Cyclone. pic.twitter.com/iJK0RVpQtY— India Met. Dept. (@Indiametdept) May 18, 2020
Amphan(pronounced as UM-PM) is likely to cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) on Wednesday as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm. At the time of the landfall, Cyclone Amphan is expected to carry wind speed of 155-165 kmph, gusting to 185 kmph, the department said.
The states of West Bengal and Odisha are put on high alert as the coastal areas in these states are expected to be hit by the maelstrom that is rapidly moving towards the coast. Heavy rainfall is expected to hit coast Odisha on Monday evening and then hit West Bengal’s coast the following day. The state governments have already started the evacuation process to rescue people from vulnerable areas. Fishermen have been strictly advised by the administration to not venture into the seas till May 21.
The IMD has alerted that the super cyclone could wreak havoc in east Medinipur, south and north 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata districts in West Bengal. A cyclone of such compared intensity had ravaged large swathes of Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal twenty-one years ago in 1999. It had taken several months for the state of Odisha to repair the extensive damages caused by the cyclone then.
The warning said that Odisha and West Bengal could face severe damage, including the uprooting of communication and power poles. It also added that the super cyclone could disrupt rail and road links in many areas in Bengal and Odisha and inflict large-scale damage to standing crops, plantations and orchards.
PM chaired a meeting to review response measures against Cyclone Amphan
As Cyclone Amphan intensified into a super cyclone, a high-level meeting to review the response measures adopted by the affected state governments was chaired by PM Modi. The Prime Minister took stock of response preparedness and the evacuation measures adopted by the NDRF.
PM Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting today to review the response measures against cyclone ‘Amphan’ developing in the Bay of Bengal. PM took full stock of the situation & reviewed the response preparedness as well as the evacuation plan presented by the NDRF: PM’s Office https://t.co/sY2qZiWH8t— ANI (@ANI) May 18, 2020
While presenting the response plan, Director General of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)apprised the Prime Minister that 25 NDRF teams have been deployed on the ground while 12 others are ready in reserve. Furthermore, he also informed that there are 24 other NDRF teams on standby in different parts of the country.