Wind speed, movement, likely damage: Highlights of Cyclone Amphan
Cyclone Amphan is all set to slam into West Bengal and Odisha on Wednesday afternoon, packing winds gusting to a speed of 185 kmph. It will also bring with it torrential rainfall, threatening to inundate low-lying areas of human habitation.
The authorities have already warned of extensive damage to crops and public property at a time when the nation has its hands full with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Here is all you need to know about the cyclone and its movement:
1. The two states which will be affected the most by the movement of the cyclone are West Bengal and Odisha. However, its impact will be visible in Sikkim, Assam and Meghalaya too.
2. The districts to be affected in Odisha are Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Kendrapara. In West Bengal, East Midnapore, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas are expected to bear the brunt of the cyclone. It has already started raining in coastal districts of Odisha and Paradip is witnessing strong winds.
3. Nearly 4.2 million people have been moved to safety in the coastal regions of India and Bangladesh.
4. Amphan was a massive cyclone 700 km in extent and 15 km in height when it was rotating around its centre in the central parts of Bay of Bengal on Monday.
5. The cyclone is expected to cause heavy to extremely heavy rainfall over Gangetic West Bengal and heavy to very heavy rainfall over north coastal Odisha. It will also cause heavy to very heavy rainfall over sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim on May 20 and 21 and Assam and Meghalaya on May 21.
6. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has 15 teams in Odisha, 19 in West Bengal and two in reserve for rescue and relief efforts.
7. The storm surge is expected to be 4 to 6 metres above the astronomical tide in parts of West Bengal, flooding low lying areas in the three districts when it makes landfall.
8. Wind speeds in Kolkata, Hooghly and Howrah are likely to range between 110 kmph and 120 kmph, gusting to 130 kmph. Gale-force winds of 75 to 85 kmph, gusting to 95 kmph, are likely to lash the north Odisha coast.
9. Amphan had been billed as the most intense cyclone in the Bay of Bengal since a 1999 storm devastated Odisha, killing around 9,000 people.
10. Odisha was hit by a super cyclone that left nearly 10,000 dead in 1999, eight years after a typhoon, tornadoes and flooding killed 1,39,000 in Bangladesh.