Kolkata hunkers down ahead of Amphan landfall

Super cyclone is expected to hit eastern parts of the city on Wednesday

Published - May 19, 2020 04:26 pm IST - Kolkata

A scientist at IMD Earth System Science Organisation points to a section of the screen showing the position of the Cyclone Amphan to media people, in Kolkata on May 19, 2020.

A scientist at IMD Earth System Science Organisation points to a section of the screen showing the position of the Cyclone Amphan to media people, in Kolkata on May 19, 2020.

The Regional Meteorological Centre at Alipore in Kolkata on Tuesday asked people in the city not to venture out and keep shops and other institutions closed when the super cyclone Amphan makes a landfall in West Bengal Coast on Wednesday.

Also read: Amphan cyclone tracker | Super cyclone to impact Kolkata, stay indoors, says Met dept.

“From Wednesday morning, wind speed in Kolkata will be from 75 kmph to 85 kmph. When the cyclone makes a landfall, the windspeed will increase from 110 kmph to 120 kmph. We are issuing advisory that there should be no movement of people in the city,” Dy. Director General of Meteorology, Regional Meteorological Centre Alipore, Sanjib Bandyopadhyay said.

The COVID-19 outbreak is expected to be “an advantage” in disguise, a south Kolkata resident said, “as people are mostly locked at home”.

Mr. Bandyopadhyay also said the damage due to the super cyclone could be “minimised as there are no fishermen in the sea due to spread of COVID-19 infection”. The beach resorts at Digha, Madarmani and Bakkhali too, have no tourists because of the ongoing lock down.

Met officials have predicted that the wind speed will be about 165 to 175 kmph when the cyclone makes a landfall on Wednesday afternoon between Digha in West Bengal and Hathia in Bangladesh.

Also read: Cyclone ‘Amphan’ likely to turn into very severe storm; landfall on Bengal, Bangladesh coasts on May 20: MHA

The official said the impact of the super-storm is likely to be stronger than cyclones Aila ( 2009) and Bulbul (2019).

The eye of storm will pass through east and south east of Kolkata. The city along with adjoining districts will experience high speed gale winds along with heavy rainfall.

Representatives of Kolkata Municipal Corporation started evacuating people from old dilapidated houses in the city. About 1 lakh people, have been evacuated from the three coastal districts of South and North 24 Parganas and Purba Medinipur.

Storm surge

Other than heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds, the super cyclone is likely to cause a storm surge of four to five metres in the low lying areas of South and North 24 Paraganas. In Purba Medinipur the surge is going to be about three to four metres.

Officials of the Regional Meteorological Department said the storm surge is likely to cause heavy flooding in low lying areas.

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