Storm Amphan which developed into a super cyclone on Monday expected to touch India in a few hours has already been showing its impact in Northeast states Odisha and West Bengal. Amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, this super cyclone turned into a challenge for the state governments that are now ramping up the relief measures.
Anticipated to be the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal as the cyclone is intensifying with sustained wind speeds of up to 270 kms per hour, while Cyclone Phailin in 2013 and the super cyclone of 1999 have been the most powerful cyclones in the Bay of Bengal. Upon which, India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a warning to suspend all fishing activity in West Bengal and Odisha till May 20.
While Prime Minister Modi held an emergency meeting with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) & National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) officials, Home Minister Amit Shah has been reportedly reviewing the situations on an hourly basis.
Addressing the media, IMD chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said, “Amphan is expected to make the biggest impact in South and North 24 Parganas and East Medinipur districts of West Bengal. It will cross West Bengal and Bangladesh coast between Digha and Hatia island during the afternoon to evening of May 20, with a maximum wind speed of 165-175 kmph, gusting to 195 kmph.”
The Odisha government has already deployed NDRF teams in Six districts- Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Kendrapara, Jajpur and Jagatsinghpur which are expected to be the worst-hit. West Bengal as well started evacuating low lying suburbs. While fishing had already been suspended in the wake of lockdown, police officials have started announcements in the low lying coastal areas.