Guwahati: A cyclone alert is now sounded on various parts of West Bengal and Odisha as Amphan has now intensified into an “extreme severe” storm overnight. The cyclonic storm on May 18 is likely to hit west-central and adjoining central parts of South Bay of Bengal. This includes 790 km south of Paradip in Odisha, 940 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal), and 1060 km south-west of Khepupara in Bangladesh.
In a warning issued by the Indian Meteorological Department stated that the cyclone is very likely to intensify into a Super Cyclonic Storm in the next 12 hours. Then it is likely to move “north-northeastwards across the northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal – Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) during the afternoon or evening of May 20 (Wednesday)” as a “very severe cyclonic storm with maximum wind speeds of 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph.”
The recent update by the Meteorological Department of India has now stated that it is likely to intensify further as a super cyclone.
Usually pronounced as Um-pun, this severe cyclonic storm was first detected by US Navy Weather Monitoring Station. Till May 17 Amphan moved north- northwestwards and then curved north and then northeastwards across the Bay of Bengal towards West Bengal and adjoining Odisha coasts during May 18-20 as stated by a national weather forecaster. A “Yellow alert” has already been issued to the two states. This alert is issued 48 hours before the expected commencement of any adverse weather over the coastal areas
Light and moderate rainfall is expected in the coastal parts of Gangetic West Bengal (North and South 24 Paraganas, Kolkata, Hooghly, East, and West Midnapur) on May 19. However, on May 20 the same districts are expected to encounter heavy rainfall. “Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at one or two places over Malda, North & South Dinajpur on May 20 and overall districts of Sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim on May 21,” was stated in the warning.
Fishermen are advised not to venture into North Bay of Bengal along and off West Bengal-North Odisha coasts during May 18-21. Additionally, port warnings have also been issued to Hooghly Port and Sagar Island Port.
Unlike other cyclones, Amphan is a very unfamiliar cyclone whose intensity ranges from heavy to very heavy. Extensive damages are expected in areas of West Bengal (North and South 24 Paraganas, Kolkata, Hooghly, East, and West Midnapur) to all types of kutcha houses and some damages to the old and badly managed Pucca ones. There would be extensive uprooting of communication and power poles and the disruption of rail /road link at several places are to be expected. There is also a potential threat from flying objects.