The severe cyclonic storm Amphan (pronounced as UM-PUN) is rapidly making its way towards India. It is expected to hit the coast of North Orissa and West Bengal on May 20. On Monday, the India Meteorological Department warned that Amphan has intensified into a super cyclone with wind speed above 200 kmph on Monday afternoon. Fishing operations have been totally suspended, and people have been strictly asked to remain indoors. It is expected that the cyclone will cause severe damage to Kutcha houses and will destroy the crops.
As per the PTI report, “The East Coast Railway on Monday decided to suspend the running of all special trains on the Bhubaneswar-Kharagpur route in view of the approaching cyclone Amphan.” The railway line will be out of bounds for trains till further orders, the ECoR said. Chief Secretary of Orissa said, “We will have to evacuate around 50,000–60,000 people. 1000 personnel of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force have been deployed. CM has reviewed the situation and coordination between various departments.”
On Monday, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi took stock of response preparedness and the evacuation measures adopted by the NDRF in a high-level meeting chaired by him. Soon after the meeting was over, an official statement was issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The statement said, “During the presentation of the response plan, Director General of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Shri SN Pradhan informed that 25 NDRF teams have been deployed on the ground while 12 others are ready in reserve. 24 other NDRF teams are also on standby in different parts of the country.”
Home Minister Amit Shah, Principal Advisor to the PM P K Sinha, and Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba were also present at the meeting.
As per a PTI report, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Monday, said, “All precautionary steps, including the evacuation of people from coastal areas, have been taken to deal with any eventuality arising out of cyclone Amphan, which is fast approaching the state.”
In a tweet, the India Meteorological Department said, “The cyclone is likely to move North-Northeastwards and fast across the northwest Bay of Bengal, and cross the West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts between Digha and the Hatia Island as a very severe cyclonic storm.” A very heavy rain warning has been issued for Odisha, West Bengal, Sikkim, Meghalaya till Thursday, May 21. In a press briefing, DG NDRF said, “Both central and state teams are facing a dual challenge, having to make rescue and relief preparations for Amphan Cyclone amidst COVID-19, hence we are taking all required precautions.”
The Director General of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) Shri Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said, “The rapid intensification of Amphan into a super cyclone was because of many favourable conditions over the Bay of Bengal like high sea surface temperatures, low vertical shear winds and enough moisture in the middle layers of the atmosphere, all of which aid in the development of a cyclone.” He said, “Cyclone Amphan very intense, has potential to do large-scale damage.”
Featured Photo: Satellite photo of Supercyclone Amphan from India Meteorological Department. (Dated: May 19)