18 May 2020, 04:54 pm By
Amphan intensifies into super cyclone, likely to cross West Bengal tomorrow

Cyclone Amphan, which is expected to make a landfall in Bengal on Wednesday, has turned in to a 'super cyclone', the weather office said this afternoon. It had intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm overnight. 'The Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm 'AMPHAN' (pronounced as UM-PUN) intensified into Super Cyclonic Storm at 1130 IST of today, the 18th May, 2020', The India Meteorological Department (IMD) tweeted this afternoon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday will hold a high-level meeting at 4 pm to review the cyclone's preparedness, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.

Amphan cyclone to intensify

A warning has been issued for West Bengal and north Odisha coasts. The cyclone is expected to make a landfall between West Bengal and Bangladesh on Wednesday. Heavy rains coupled with high-velocity winds in coastal Odisha will take place which has prompted the state government to prepare for the possible evacuation of 11 lakh people. The high-velocity winds may cause extensive damage to property in the state. The Odisha government has asked the administration of its 12 coastal districts to remain in a state of preparedness to deal with any eventuality in the wake of cyclone 'Amphan', a senior official said. It is said that the storm is likely to 'further intensify'over the next six hours.

IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said that northern parts of Odisha are likely to be more affected due to the cyclone. Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), P K Jena said the district collectors of Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Cuttack, Khurda and Nayagarh have been asked to remain in a state of preparedness for evacuating people from vulnerable areas whenever necessary.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has enhanced its strength to a total of 37 teams, with the addition of 20 more, to combat the 'dual challenge' of cyclone 'Amphan' amid the coronavirus pandemic, the chief of the federal contingency force said on Monday while talking to the personnel of PTI. 'A total of 37 teams have been deployed by NDRF in West Bengal and Odisha, out of which 20 teams are actively deployed and 17 are on standby in the two states,' said SN Pradhan, NDRF Director General. A single NDRF team has a strength of about 45 personnel. Other local disaster management teams are also on site and consstantly monitering the situation with the central teams of NDRF and IMD.

According to experts, North Odisha coast will face the maximum impact of cyclone Amphan when it makes landfall. Cyclone 'Amphan' will also cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Digha (WB) and Hatiya island around the afternoon of May 20 at a 'very severe' intensity.

Last year in May, major parts of Odisha were devastated by cyclone 'Fani' (pronounce Phoni). The state had relocated over 11 lakh people across 13 districts to safety, earning praise for handling the crisis.

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