Cyclone ‘Amphan’ to make landfall along with very high wind speed, heavy rains

PTI

Press Conference on Super Cyclone Amphan (Twitter Photo)

Press Conference on Super Cyclone Amphan (Twitter Photo)

Super cyclone ‘Amphan’ is likely to make landfall along the West Bengal coast on Wednesday with very high wind speeds ranging up to 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph and heavy rains.

This was conveyed to the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, which met here on Tuesday to review the preparedness of the states and central ministries and agencies to deal with the cyclonic storm, an official statement said.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has stated that the super cyclone is expected to impact the West Bengal coast by the afternoon or evening of May 20.

Very high wind speeds ranging up to 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph are expected, accompanied by heavy rainfall and storm surges of 4-5 metres in the coastal districts of the state.

Districts of East Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata are expected to be impacted, the statement said.

The damage potential of the cyclone is expected to be higher than that of cyclone ‘Bulbul’, which hit the West Bengal coast on November 9, 2019, it said.

Cyclone ‘Amphan’ will also bring heavy rainfall, squally winds and storm surges in the coastal districts of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Balasore in Odisha.

Chief Secretary, Odisha and Additional Chief Secretary, West Bengal apprised the NCMC of preparatory measures taken by them. They informed that the evacuation of people from the low lying areas is being carried out.

All actions have been taken to stock food grains, drinking water and other essential supplies. Teams for maintenance and restoration of Power and Telecom services have also been positioned.

Reviewing the preparedness of the States and central agencies, the cabinet secretary asked the state governments to ensure timely and complete evacuation of people from low lying areas in the cyclone’s path and maintain adequate quantities of essential supplies such as food, drinking water and medicines, etc.

They were also advised that teams for road clearance and other restoration work be kept ready.

A total of 36 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are currently deployed in both the states.

Rescue and relief teams of the Army and Navy along with ships and aircraft of the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard have been put on standby.

Officials from agencies of the Department of Telecommunications and Ministry of Power are also deployed in the states to ensure the maintenance of essential services.

Chief Secretary, Odisha and Home Secretary, West Bengal participated in the meeting through video conference. Senior officers from the Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence, Shipping, Power, Telecommunications, Health, IMD, NDMA and NDRF also attended the meeting.

The NCMC will meet again to take stock of the emerging situation, the statement said.

Cyclone ‘Amphan’ has developed into a super cyclone over 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, the government had said.

This is the second super cyclone over the Bay of Bengal in two decades.

The cyclone is expected to make landfall on the West Bengal coast in the afternoon of May 20 between Digha in West Bengal and Hatia island in Bangladesh as an extremely severe cyclonic storm.

The cyclone has the potential to cause extensive damage in the coastal districts of West Bengal, the government said.

‘Amphan’ will cause heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal, it added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday had reviewed the situation arising from the cyclone and assured all possible assistance from the central government.

(PTI)