Cyclone ‘Amphan’ has intensified into an extremely severe storm and is all set to unleash heavy rains coupled with high-velocity winds in coastal Odisha, prompting the State government to prepare for the possible evacuation of 11 lakh people.
Here are the latest updates:
Cyclone Amphan very intense; has potential to wreak large-scale damage, says IMD
Cyclone Amphan is a very intense storm which can wreak large-scale damage, India Meteorological Department Director General M Mohapatra said on Monday.
Amphan has intensified into a super cyclonic storm and is expected to make a landfall on May 20 between the Digha islands in West Bengal and Hatia islands of Bangladesh, Mohapatra said at a press briefing.
It is likely to de-intensify to an extremely severe cyclonic storm when it makes a landfall.
He added that the coastal districts of West Bengal will receive heavy to extremely heavy rainfall on May 19 and 20. These include East Midnapur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata in West Bengal.
The storm is also likely to impact the coastal districts of north Odisha, including Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak and Balasore.
India facing second super cyclone, says NDRF chief
Super cyclone Amphan will make landfall on May 20 between Digha in West Bengal and Hatia island in Bangladesh, chief of the National Disaster Response Force, S N Pradhan, said on Monday.
Addressing a hurriedly convened press conference, Pradhan said the NDRF was not taking Amphan lightly as it is only the second time that India is facing a super cyclone.
He said this is a very significant incident as this is the second super cyclone after the first hit Odisha in 1999.
The landfall of cyclone Amphan would be on May 20 between Digha in West Bengal and Hatia Island in Bangladesh, he said.
The director general of the NDRF said his force has dedicated a total of 53 teams, including those on standby, for cyclone affected states of Odisha and West Bengal.
“It is a dual challenge as cyclone is striking in the time of COVID-19 outbreak; we are taking all precautions,” he said.
All precautionary measures in place: Mamata on cyclone Amphan
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said all precautionary steps, including evacuation of people from coastal areas, have been taken to deal with any eventuality arising out of cyclone Amphan, which is fast approaching the the state.
Teams of disaster management department, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Relief Force (SDRF) have been sent to the vulnerable areas, she said.
“We will be monitoring the situation for cyclone Amphan 24X7. Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha, Home Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay and the secretary of disaster management department will be keeping a close watch on the situation,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat.
A senior government official said relief materials, dry food and tarpaulin have been dispatched to the coastal areas of the state.
Cyclone ‘Amphan’ (pronounced UM-PUN) has intensified into a super cyclonic storm and is likely to move across the northeast Bay of Bengal, and cross the coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh, between Digha and the Hatia island, on May 20, the IMD said.
NDRF DG asks Odisha, West Bengal to undertake adequate measures to tackle cyclone
‘Amphan’, categorised as a super cyclone, is expected to make landfall on May 20 and it is being taken seriously as this is only the second time that such a severe cyclone will hit India after 1999, NDRF chief S N Pradhan said on Monday.
Pradhan said ‘Amphan’ will be an extremely severe cyclonic storm, a notch below the ‘super cyclone’ category, when it makes landfall.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) chief said the coming cyclone is a “serious” one as it is only the second time after 1999 in Odisha that a storm hitting the country’s coast has been categorised as a ‘super cyclone’
The 1999 super cyclone was very deadly and it is expected that Amphan upon landfall will be like the ‘Fani’ cyclone that hit the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coasts in May 2019.
This is a cause of concern and the central government is also very serious about it, he said in a video message.
We request the affected states of Odisha and West Bengal to undertake the required measures. These states are already doing it, Pradhan said.
The NDRF has already deployed a total of 37 teams in the two states apart from others that have been kept on standby.
Cyclone 'Amphan' will cause heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in coastal West Bengal, says govt.
Cyclone “Amphan” has developed into a super cyclone in the Bay of Bengal on Monday and has the potential to cause extensive damage in the coastal districts of West Bengal when it makes landfall on Wednesday, the government said.
The cyclone is expected to make landfall on the West Bengal coast in the afternoon of May 20 as an extremely severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds ranging up to 195 kmph.
The cyclone has the potential to cause extensive damage in the coastal districts of West Bengal, an official statement said.
“Amphan” will cause heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal, it added.
The districts of East Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata in are likely to be worst affected due to “Amphan“.
The storm is also likely to impact the coastal districts of north Odisha, including Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak and Balasore.
The India Meteorological Department has warned of a storm surge of a height of about four-six metres above the astronomical tide, which would inundate the low-lying coastal areas of South and North 24 parganas, and three-four metres in East Medinipur at the time of landfall, the statement said.
Modi reviews response preparedness
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday chaired a high-level meeting to review the response preparedness against cyclone Amphan, developing in the Bay of Bengal.
The prime minister took full stock of the situation and reviewed the measures as well as the evacuation plan presented by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
During a presentation on the response plan, the NDRF director general informed that 25 NDRF teams have been deployed on the ground, while 12 others are ready in reserve.
Twenty-four other NDRF teams are also on standby in different parts of the country, the force chief told the meeting, the statement said.
The IMD, in its latest bulletin gave rainfall warning to the following states.
Coastal Odisha is likely to experience light to moderate rainfall at many places from today evening with heavy falls at isolated places over coastal Odisha (Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur & Kendrapara Districts) on 18 th May, 2020.
Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places over north coastal Odisha (Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Balasore, Bhadrak & Mayurbhanj Districts) and isolated heavy falls over Khordha & Puri districts on 19th May and isolated heavy rainfall over north Odisha (Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Keonjhar Districts) on 20th May 2020.
Coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal (East Medinipur, South & North 24 Parganas) are likely to experience light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy falls at isolated places on 19th May.
Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places & extremely heavy falls at isolated places likely over Gangetic West Bengal (east & west Medinipur, south & north 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogli, Kolkata and adjoining districts) on 20th May and isolated heavy rain over interior districts on 21st May, 2020.
Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim
Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places over Malda & Dinajpur districts on 20th May and over most of the districts of Sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim on 21st May, 2020.
Assam & Meghalaya
Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places over the western districts of Assam & Meghalaya on 21st May.
The Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Amphan over westcentral and adjoining central parts of South Bay of Bengal moved nearly northwards with a speed of 04 kmph during past 06 hours, intensified further into a Super Cyclonic Storm and lay centred at 1130 hrs IST of today over west-central and adjoining central parts of South Bay of Bengal near latitude 13.4°N and longitude 86.2 °E, about 770 km nearly south of Paradip (Odisha), 920 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal) and 1040 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh).
It is very likely to move nearly northwards for some more time and then north-northeastwards across northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal – Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) close to Sundarbans during the Afternoon / Evening of 20th May 2020 as an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 165-175 kmph gusting to 185 kmph, according to the IMD.
Amphan intensifies into super cyclone; likely to cross West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts on May 20 as very severe cyclonic storm: IMD
37 NDRF teams to combat dual challenge of cyclone Amphan, COVID-19
The 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.
S N Pradhan, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)Director General, said the force is fully geared with all the equipment and paraphernalia to face the “developing situation which the Indian Meteorological Department has said will turn into a very severe cyclonic storm by this evening and continue to be so for sometime“.
“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,” Pradhan said in a video message.
A single NDRF team has a strength of about 45 personnel.
Bengal braces for cyclone
While the Odisha government is preparing for a possible evacuation of 11 lakh people residing in vulnerable areas, the West Bengal government has issued an alert in coastal districts and sent relief teams.
Under the cyclone’s impact, the coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal, including North and South 24 Parganas, Kolkata, East and West Midnapore, Howrah and Hooghly are likely to experience light to moderate rain at many places with heavy downpour at isolated places on May 19, G K Das, Director of the Regional Meteorological Centre in Kolkata said.
Relief materials, dry fruits and trampoline have been dispatched to coastal areas, a senior official said.
“We are taking all measures to tackle any contingency. Special control rooms have been set up, and State Disaster Relief Force teams have been deployed. We are also making announcements through public address systems,” the official said.
Quick response teams comprising trained civil defence volunteers and vehicles with necessary equipment have already reached the districts. The State Emergency Operation Centre, functioning at the state secretariat, is in constant touch with district EOCs, officials said.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has sent advisory to Odisha and West Bengal governments regarding the movement of Amphan.
The MeT department, which has issued an ‘orange’ warning for West Bengal, said Amphan is likely to cross the West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Digha and Hatiya Islands in the afternoon or evening of May 20 as a very severe cyclonic storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 155 to 165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph before losing some steam ahead of landfall.
PM to chair meeting on cyclone Amphan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level meeting at 4 pm to review the situation arising out of cyclone ‘Amphan’, which is likely to hit the eastern coast.
“To review the arising cyclone situation in various parts of the country, PM @narendramodi ji will chair a high level meeting with MHA & NDMA, today at 4pm,” Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.
The Prime Minister is the chairman of the NDMA.
Odisha begins evacuation
Odisha on Monday began evacuation of people from coastal villages in the northern districts as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted that the extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan could intensify into a super cyclone in the next 12 hours.
As preparedness measure for possible cyclone, 567 cyclone shelters and 7,000 concrete buildings have been identified to accommodate about 11 lakh people, the Odisha government said.
Besides, three of the National Disaster Response Force, 12 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, 355 fire service units have been deployed to deal with cyclonic situation.
In Dhamra area of Bhadrak, people have been alerted about the cyclone. Similarly, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara district administrations asked the people staying low-lying areas to move out to safer places. - Satyasundar Barik
Amphan may intensify into super cyclone in next 12 hours, says IMD
Amphan, now raging in the Bay of Bengal, is likely to intensify into a super cyclone — the severest category — in the next 12 hours, according to an update from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday.
Until Sunday evening, the IMD had said it was likely to be a less strong ‘extreme cyclonic storm.’ Amphan is expected to generate wind speeds up to 230 kmph, gusting to 265 kmph and make landfall in Digha, West Bengal, by May 20 and veer towards Bangladesh.
Rains in coastal Andhra, Yanam
Under the influence of Amphan, rain or thundershowers are very likely to occur at a few places over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam during the next 24 hours.
Heavy rainfall is likely to occur at one or two places over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam during the same time, according to V.V. Bhaskar, Director, Cyclone Warning Centre, Visakhapatnam.
Strong surface winds, with speed reaching 40-50 km/hr likely off Andhra Pradesh coast during the next 24 hours, ending at 6 p.m., on Monday. The sea condition would be rough and fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea.
Second cyclone warning in Pamban
Cyclone warning signal two was hoisted by Pamban Port officials on Sunday.
Fishermen, as a precautionary measure, had been instructed not to venture into sea. Rain likely in some coastal pockets during the next 24 hours, according to an IMD report.
The district administration and the Department of Fisheries warned fishers to be careful of the brewing storm during the next 24 hours.