Cyclone Amphan intensifies into extremely severe storm ; Odisha, Bengal on alert
Cyclone storm Amphan over central parts of South Bay of Bengal intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday morning.
With the cyclonic storm intensifying in the last few hours, there is likelihood of heavy rainfall coupled with high-velocity winds in coastal districts of Odisha and parts of West Bengal.
A cyclone alert for West Bengal and north Odisha coasts has been issued by the IMD. Cycle Amphan is expected to cross the coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh on May 20.
“The Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Amphan’ over central parts of South Bay of Bengal moved north-northeastwards with a speed of 13 kmph during past six hours, intensified into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm and lay centred at 0230 hrs IST of today, the 18th May, 2020 over central parts of South Bay of Bengal and adjoining central Bay of Bengal near latitude 12.9°N and longitude 86.4°E, about 820 km nearly south of Paradip (Odisha), 980 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal) and 1090 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh),” the weather office said in its update on Monday morning.
It is likely to intensify further during the next six hours, IMD added.
The cyclone is likely to make a landfall somewhere between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya Islands in Bangladesh on Wednesday.
The extremely severe cyclonic storm is also expected to move north-northeastwards and move fast across northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) during the afternoon/evening of May 20 as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm, the IMD said.
As cyclone Amphan rolls in towards the Indian shores, it is likely to unleash heavy rain and high-velocity winds in large swathes of coastal Odisha and West Bengal.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into north Bay of Bengal along and off West Bengal-Odisha coasts from May 18 to 21 and those who are out in the sea, were asked to return to shore by May 17.
NDRF personnel were on Sunday deployed in West Bengal and Odisha. The NDRF said it was ready to undertake massive evacuation of 11 lakh people likely to be severely hit by the cyclone Amphan.
Twelve coastal districts of Odisha -- Ganjam, Gajapti, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Cuttack, Khurda and Nayagarh -- are on high alert.
In Odisha, 10 teams have been deployed in seven districts -- Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj. One team of NDRF consists of around 45 personnel.
West Bengal Home secretary Alapan Bandopdhyay said the entire state machinery is prepared to deal with the situation.