Cyclone Alert: Odisha And Bengal Brace to Fight Cyclone Amphan

Map Showing Location of Cyclone Amphan
Map depicting location of Cyclone Amphan
Map Showing Location of Cyclone Amphan
Map depicting the location of Cyclone Amphan

Cyclone storm Amphan over central parts of the South Bay of Bengal is turning into a severe weather menace as per the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) bulletin on Monday morning. The severe effects of the storm have reached West Bengal and Odisha in India and Bangladesh.

Cyclone Amphan wrecks parts of WB, Kolkata airport waterlogged

The devastating cyclone storm Amphan made landfall near Sundarbans between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) on Wednesday afternoon. The wrecking wind of the severe storm killed at least 15 people in West Bengal and damaged many buildings and uprooted trees and electricity poles.

Communication disrupted in WB

The six hours of gruesome cyclone Amphan with the severe wind speed of 185 kmph created havoc in Kolkata and most of South Bengal. Electricity and communications have been disrupted in Kolkata. The districts of East Midnapore, South 24-Parganas, and North 24-Parganas were the worst affected. The same areas witnessed cyclone Bulbul in November 2019.

6 lakh people evacuated

The affected areas are waterlogged, and many vehicles crushed under fallen trees. The ruined area looked like a war-like situation. Before the cyclone struck in the two states, over 500,000 people had been evacuated and taken to safe places in West Bengal while over 100,000 were evacuated in Odisha.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the impact of Amphan was worse than the coronavirus pandemic and claimed that there could have been Rs 1 trillion worth of damage due to the cyclone in the region.

Kolkata airport waterlogged

Kolkata airport has been waterlogged. The visuals of the city’s airport showed aircrafts standing in knee-dip water. Two hangars have been damaged, which can’t be repaired, but they were unused, as per airport officials report.

Amphan first super cyclone in 20-year

This is one of the most severe cyclones that struck West Bengal. Cyclone Amphan’s impact was alarming and caused huge destruction of property and life as well. Assessment of damaged property will take place later. It is the first super cyclone that took place since 1999 in India. The previous super cyclone had hit Odisha and killed nearly 10,000 people in the state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his tweet, said “Have been seeing visuals from West Bengal on the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan. In this challenging hour, the entire nation stands in solidarity with West Bengal. Praying for the well-being of the people of the state. Efforts are on to ensure normalcy”.

NDRF personnel back on duty

Showing great courage, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel have started road clearance, and restoration works in West Bengal. NDRF teams have been helping needy people and providing them with all types of support in the cyclone-affected areas. Top officials are monitoring the situation closely and coordinating with the West Bengal government.

Centre assures help

The Union government has urged the chief ministers of West Bengal and Odisha to monitor the situation arising in the wake of cyclone Amphan. The Centre is ready to provide all possible help to both the states in the crisis. Home minister Amit Shah talked to Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik regarding the situation arising due to the cyclone.

Chance of heavy rainfall in some states

India Meteorological Department in its latest weather bulletin on cyclone Amphan has said that the destructive cyclone storm is likely to move north-northeast wards and weaken into a deep depression. Weathermen have predicted heavy rainfall in some states like Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura.

Less damage occurs in Odisha

Less damage occurred in Odisha in comparison to West Bengal. The state government is assessing the damage that took place due to the cyclone. But lots of destruction occurred in the coastal districts of Odisha. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will do the aerial survey to assess the situation arising amid the cyclone.

The state is already in a dire situation struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state. The number of new cases has surged in the state in a couple of days.

Cyclonic storm intensifies

The cyclonic storm has been intensifying in the last few hours over the coastal Odisha and parts of West Bengal which are expected to experience moderate to heavy rainfall with high-velocity winds. Therefore, fishermen have been alerted not to venture into the north Bay of Bengal and Odisha coasts from May 18 to 21.

17 NDRF teams deployed

The government has been taking all the essential steps to minimise the disaster due to the expected severe cyclone. Seeing the intensity of the storm, 17 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been pressed into Odisha and West Bengal for the safety of the people of coastal areas. Out of the 17 teams, seven teams have taken the position in six districts of West Bengal – South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Howrah, and Hooghly, while 10 teams have been alerted in seven districts of Odisha – Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj.

The weather office said in its update on Monday morning that “The Very Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Amphan’ over central parts of South Bay of Bengal moved north-northeast wards 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, May 18, 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).”

Path of the Cyclone

The powerful cyclonic storm is likely to move north-northeastwards and move fast across the northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) during the afternoon or evening of May 20 as a severe cyclonic storm.