As if the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown woes werent enough, the eastern states of West Bengal and Odisha are now bracing for the impact of Cyclone Amphan. Amphan is a superstorm that has formed over the Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Meteorological Department has said that it is the most intense cyclone seen in the region since 1999. The super cyclone Amphan has weakened into an extremely severe cyclonic storm, said National Disaster Response Force chief SN Pradhan on Tuesday.
However, a report in the CNN says Super Cyclone Amphan became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal, after intensifying with sustained wind speeds of up to 270 kilometres per hour, according to data from the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Amphan is expected to make landfall on Wednesday afternoon between West Bengals Digha and Hatya Island in Bangladesh.
The Odisha super cyclone of 1999 had recorded wind speed of 260 kmph. It caused widespread destruction and claimed 10,000 lives. Amphan has reportedly surpassed that but Odisha and West Bengal, the two states expected to face the worst of Cyclone Amphan, are preparing round the clock to minimise the devastation.
As the storm moved closer to the coast, it triggered heavy rainfall in several parts of Odisha and Bengal, even as evacuations were on.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said she will ask Railways to stop all Shramik special trains to the state until Thursday. All precautionary measures are taken to deal with any eventuality arising out of the super cyclone. I had a word with Union Home Minister Amit Shah regarding it. At least three lakh people have been evacuated from three coastal districts of the state and moved to relief shelters, said Banerjee.
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said she and senior state government officials are directly monitoring the situation and announced several helpline numbers.https://www.news18.com/news/india/cyclone-amphan-3l-people-evacuated-moved-to-shelters-says-mamata-amit-shah-assures-central-help-2627259.html Cyclone Amphan: 3 Lakh People Evacuated to Shelters, Says Mamata; Amit Shah Assures Central HelpWest Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said she and senior state government officials are directly monitoring the situation and announced several helpline numbers.news18.com56:13 PM – May 19, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacySee News18.com’s other Tweets
Given the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, the states Disaster Management Minister Javed Khan spoke to the media about the measures being taken, including distributing more than two lakh masks among the evacuees and handing out personal protective equipment kits to the approximately 4,000 personnel from the State Disaster Relief Force.
Its not just SDRF involved in preparing the cyclone; the National Disaster Response Force has been mobilised as well. In Odisha, 15 teams of the NDRF have been deployed, while in West Bengal, 19 have been deployed with two more on standby. NDRF chief Pradhan spoke to the media to shed light on the preparedness for the cyclone.
Every Battalion has 4 teams, so there are 24 teams on standby: NDRF Chief SN Pradhan #AmphanCyclone https://twitter.com/ANI/status/1262697355754614784 ANI✔@ANIWe’ve kept addl backup. 6 NDRF Battalions – 11, 9, 1, 10, 4, 5 have been identified for it. 11 battalion is in Varanasi, 9 in Patna, 1 in Guwahati, 10 in Vijaywada, 4 in Arakkonam&5 battalion in Pune. They have military airports&troops can be brought on short notice: NDRF Chief2074:21 PM – May 19, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy29 people are talking about this
The IMD has warned that all fishing activities should be ceased from May 19 to May 20, as the sea will be too rough for vessels and going out onto the water could be hazardous for human life. On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired an emergency meeting to evaluate the best response to the cyclone.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a warning to suspend all fishing activities in West Bengal and Odisha till May 20, in the wake of super cyclone Amphan.
Several fishermen at Odisha’s Bhadrak were seen parking their boats at the dock today morning.13:39 PM – May 19, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacySee Divakar S Natarajan’s other Tweets
In addition to the two states of West Bengal and Odisha, other states in the countrys North-East region have also issued a very heavy rain warning, including Sikkim, Assam, and Meghalaya. While theres never a good time to experience what looks to be one of the most powerful cyclones weve witnessed, Amphans arrival in the middle of a pandemic has confirmed that 2020 is the worst year ever.
This article was first published in Arre
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