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Amphan Cyclone to make landfall today; lakhs of people evacuated in Bengal, Odisha

Amphan Cyclone

Amphan Cyclone
The Amphan Cyclone, which has now emerged into a super cyclone, is likely to cross West Bengal and adjoining Bangladesh coast between Digha and Hatia close to Sundarbans during afternoon to evening of May 20. The maximum sustained wind speed of the cyclone is expected to be between 155 and 165 km per hour, increasing to 185 km per hour, India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.

The government has already evacuated lakhs of people in West Bengal and Odisha from vulnerable areas and shifted to safer locations.

IMD chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra also said on Tuesday: “This is the most intense cyclone – the second super cyclone – which has been formed in Bay of Bengal after 1999. Its wind speed in the sea right now is 200-240 kmph. It is moving towards the north and northwest direction.”

Earlier, the IMD had asked fishermen not to venture into the west-central Bay of Bengal off the north Andhra Pradesh coast on May 18. It had also advised them not to go into the north Bay of Bengal along and off the Odisha-West Bengal coasts from May 18 onwards.

The teams have already been deployed in the coastal areas of Bengal and Odisha by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

“15 teams are deployed in Odisha. They are carrying out awareness drives, communication drives, and evacuation. 19 teams are deployed in West Bengal, 2 are in standby there. We are facing a dual challenge right now – COVID-19 and cyclone,” NDRF chief SN Pradhan said.