After Warning Of Super Cyclone, Amphan Likely To Again Weaken To Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm: IMD

Sand art at Puri beach by artist Sudarsan Pattnaik - Sakshi Post

NEW DELHI: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday said that cyclone Amphan is likely to weaken into an extremely severe cyclonic storm in the next six hours. The cyclone may cross West Bengal and Bangladesh on May 20 afternoon or evening.

"It's very likely to weaken into an extremely severe cyclonic storm during next 6 hrs. It's very likely to move north northeastwards across northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts between Digha and Hatiya Islands close to Sundarbans during afternoon or evening of 20 May," the weather department tweeted.

An earlier tweet by IMD read, "Super Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’ over west-central and adjoining east-central Bay of Bengal moved north-northeastwards with a speed of 14 km/ph during past six hours and lay centred at 5:30 am today over west-central Bay of Bengal about 520 km nearly south of Paradip, Odisha."

Meanwhile, residents from coastal areas of Odisha were shifted to a cyclone shelter last night.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday chaired a high-level meeting to review the response preparedness against cyclone Amphan, developing in the Bay of Bengal.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said it has enhanced its strength to a total of 37 teams, with the addition of 20 more, to combat the "dual challenge" of cyclone ''Amphan'' amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"A total of 37 teams have been deployed by NDRF in West Bengal and Odisha, out of which 20 teams are actively deployed and 17 are on standby in the two states," S N Pradhan, NDRF Director General said in a video message.

"It is a dual challenge as cyclone is striking in time of COVID-19 and (hence) we are facing a double challenge so to say," Pradhan said.

A super cyclone usually travels with wind speed velocity of almost 250 kmph and makes a tremendous impact on landfall causing large-scale destruction. Pradhan said that it was back in 1999 that India had witnessed a super cyclone.

“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 had 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.

Last year in May, major parts of Odisha were devastated by cyclone “Fani” (pronounce Phoni). The state had relocated over 11 lakh people across 13 districts to safety, earning praise for handling the crisis.

Also Read | PM Reviews Cyclone Amphan Preparedness, 25 NDRF Teams Deployed

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