Heavy rain hits Bengal, Odisha as Cyclone Amphan nears
New Delhi, May 19: Heavy rains lashed parts of Kolkata, Odisha as the extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan is expected to make landfall tomorrow.
Cyclone Amphan developed into a super cyclone over the Bay of Bengal on Monday and has potential to cause extensive damage in the coastal districts. This is the second super cyclone over the Bay of Bengal in two decades.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said the state government has so far evacuated and moved 3 lakh people to relief camps, with Cyclone Amphan expected to make landfall in the state on Wednesday afternoon.
"All precautionary measures are taken to deal with any eventuality arising out of the super cyclone. I had a word with Home Minister Amit Shah regarding it. At least three lakh people have been evacuated from three coastal districts of the state and moved to relief shelters," she told reporters.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) earlier said the 'super cyclone' is likely to weaken into an 'extremely severe storm' during the next six hours as it nears West Bengal and Bangladesh.
In its previous update, IMD had said that the storm could make a landfall near Sundarbans today. However, in its latest report, the storm is expected to hit the eastern coast not before tomorrow.
The NDRF has learnt from its experience of handling cyclone Fani and has deployed tree-pole cutters in areas that are expected to be hit the most severe. "Wireless sets, satellite phones and other communication equipment are also with our teams. Preparation is on par with facing a super cyclone like the one that hit the Odisha coast in 1999.
To track cyclone Amphan, please visit this link. The website quite similar to IMD website shows real-time updates of the cyclone and provides all the latest information.