Cyclone Amphan turned in to a “super cyclonic storm” this morning, the weather office said, hours after it intensified into an “extremely severe cyclonic storm”. Two states- Bengal and Odisha – have been alerted over the storm, which is expected to make landfall in Bengal on Wednesday. “The Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’ (pronounced as UM-PUN) intensified into Super Cyclonic Storm at 1130 IST of 18th May 2020 (sic),” the India Meteorological Department or IMD tweeted this afternoon. Very heavy rainfall is also likely in, Sikkim, Assam, and Meghalaya till Wednesday, apart from Odisha and Bengal, the IMD said in a statement. The landfall in Bengal is expected a time when the country is fighting against coronavirus, which has affected more than 96,000 people, killed more than 3,000.
Cyclone Amphan developed rapidly into a super cyclone in the Bay of Bengal on Monday afternoon prompting a series of key meetings in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday afternoon chaired a meeting of the National Disaster Management Authority to discuss the preparations in place to tackle the cyclonic storm. The Prime Minister has directed that all necessary measures be taken to complete evacuation of people from areas in the cyclone’s path and maintain adequate quantities of essential supplies.
According to the definition, a super cyclone usually travels with wind speed velocity of almost 250 kmph and makes a tremendous impact on landfall causing large-scale destruction.
“We don’t want to take Amphan lightly as it’s only the second time that India is witnessing a super cyclone after 1999,” Pradhan said. Twenty-one years ago, in 1999, another super cyclonic storm had ravaged large parts of Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal. It had taken Odisha, a number of months to repair the extensive damage that the Super Cyclone had caused back then.
Cyclone Amphan will also cause heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal, and it has the potential to cause extensive damage in the coastal districts of the state, a government statement issued on Monday evening said.
The Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations. The Army and the Air Force units in West Bengal and Odisha have also been put on standby to prepare for the Super Cyclone.
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