Amphan likely to make landfall soon, heavy rainfall forecast in parts of West Bengal

Significant damage expected due to cyclone, says met official

Published - May 20, 2020 01:02 pm IST - Kolkata

Clouds cover the skies over the river Ganges ahead of Cyclone Amphan, in Kolkata on May 19, 2020.

Clouds cover the skies over the river Ganges ahead of Cyclone Amphan, in Kolkata on May 19, 2020.

Super cyclone Amphan is likely to make landfall along the West Bengal coast in the next few hours, officials of Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore said on Wednesday.

“The landfall of the cyclonic storm is likely to be in afternoon or evening close to the Sunderbans. After landfall, it will move in north and northeast direction and pass over eastern parts of Kolkata,” Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, Deputy Director General of Meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre, Alipore, said.

Mr. Bandyopadhyay said that after landfall, the cyclonic storm will remain over Gangetic West Bengal in different levels of intensity till Thursday morning. “What is important is that till the morning of May 21, the system will remain as a cyclonic storm. So, if we consider 5 p.m. (expected landfall) till 5 a.m. next morning, the system will stay over Gangetic West Bengal. Because the cyclonic storm will remain for a significant time, the damage is also expected to be significant,” the official said.

Since Wednesday morning, Kolkata as well as coastal areas of the State received rainfall with strong winds. Digha in Purba Medinipur, Canning and Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas received significant rainfall in the past 24 hours.

At 10.30 a.m., Amphan was located at northwest Bay of Bengal about 150 km south-southeast of Digha. During the landfall, the wind speed is likely to be between 155 and 165 kmph, gusting to 185 kmph. The storm surge over the normal astronomical tide level due to the cyclone in the Sunderbans is likely to be four to five metres. Kolkata is also likely to witness gale winds about 110 kmph when the cyclone passes over it.

The West Bengal government has evacuated three lakh people , two lakh alone from the South 24 Parganas. A control room has been set up at State Secretariat and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to monitor the situation overnight from the control room.

Restrictions have been placed on the movement of people in Kolkata and adjoining areas and ferry services in Hooghly have been suspended. Kolkata Airport has also suspended the movement of cargo flights for Wednesday.

The weather office has predicted heavy rainfall over Nadia and Murshidabad districts of Gangetic West Bengal on Thursday. Sub-Himayalan West Bengal and Sikkim are likely to receive heavy rainfall on Thursday.

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