May 20, 2020
Cyclone Amphan, the extremely severe cyclonic storm, is closing in towards the coasts of West Bengal and Odisha as it gears up to make landfall this afternoon or evening. Although weakened, Cyclone Amphan is expected to make landfall in Bengal coasts with wind speed up to 185 kmph gusting at 200 kmph.
Lakhs of people have been evacuated across West Bengal and Odisha coasts ahead of the landfall of Cyclone Amphan between Digha in Bengal and Hatiya Islands in Bangladesh.
Here are top developments on Cyclone Amphan:
1. Around 9 am, Cyclone Amphan was located about 110 km east-southeast of Paradip in Odisha. Cyclone Amphan will cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya Islands in Bangladesh close to Sunderbans. The Indian Meteorological Dept (IMD) has said the landfall process of Cyclone Amphan will happen around afternoon.
2. Hours ahead of the landfall, Paradip in Odisha has experienced 102 kmph wind speed in the morning, which was the highest till then. Paradip also received rainfall of 208.3 mm till 07:30 am.
3. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has said Cyclone Amphan is moving north-northeastwards and is now moving towards West Bengal where it will make landfall in the afternoon.
4. West Bengal has said around 3 lakh people have been evacuated from the coastal areas in the state, while Odisha has moved around 1 lakh people to cyclone shelters in the state.
CYCLONE AMPHAN TRACKER
5. Cyclone Amphan has gained speed and is now closing in towards the coast at a speed of 18-19 kmph. According to the IMD, the severe cyclonic storm was moving at 14 kmph speed in the morning.
6. Even before the landfall, Cyclone Amphan has brought heavy rainfall accompanied with strong and gusty winds in Odisha and West Bengal coasts. Several trees were seen uprooted and transformers lying on roads due to the impact of the wind. Electricity supply has been affected in parts of Bhadrak district in Odisha.
7. Low-lying areas in the coastal districts of North and South 24 Parganas, and East Midnapore, including the ecologically fragile Sundarbans, in West Bengal face a serious threat of inundation and significant damage to life and property.
8. The cyclonic system that spread in a diameter of 18 km on Monday expanded to 33 km on Tuesday, a meteorological department official said in Bhubaneswar, explaining that the sprawl had reduced the cyclone’s intensity from Super Cyclone to severe cyclonic storm.
9. Fifteen NDRF teams have been deployed in Odisha while five have been kept on reserve in seven districts of the state. 19 NDRF teams have been actively deployed in West Bengal and two have been kept in in reserve in six West Bengal districts.
10. Fearing the impact of Cyclone Amphan, 3 Shramik Special trains from Maharashtra to West Bengal and Odisha have been cancelled. The trains were scheduled to arrive in the states over two days when the cyclone will wreak havoc in the two states.