Kolkata: Super Cyclone Amphan, one of the worst storms over the Bay of Bengal in years, made landfall in West Bengal towards Sunderbans, a marshy region famous for its mangroves. It was approaching Digha in East Medinipur district of West Bengal. The process which began at 2.30 pm will continue for four hours and hit Kolkata, later in the evening, according to the Indian Meteorological Department. Addressing a press briefing, IMD chief Mrityunjay Mohapatra said, “The intensity of the cyclone near its centre as the landfall process started was recorded at 160-170 kmph, gusting to 190 kmph.”
Heavy rain and gusty winds have affected several districts of South Bengal since morning and the intensity of the downpour and wind increased gradually with every passing hour. Under influence of super cyclone Amphan, Kolkata and adjoining coastal districts experienced rains since last night. The wind speed picked up and the rains have intensified. The cyclone made landfall near Sagar Island around 3.30 pm. It reached Kolkata by 5.30 pm and the city along with adjoining areas witnessed strong winds with an intensity of 110-120 kilometres per hour. Winds with a speed of 155-165 km per hour commenced in South and North 24 Parganas and East Medinipur districts.
About 4.5 lakh people have been evacuated from vulnerable areas in West Bengal and Odisha ahead of the landfall of cyclonic storm Amphan, NDRF chief S N Pradhan said on Wednesday.
Extensive damage to kutcha houses, uprooting of communication and power poles, extensive damage to standing crop and falling trees have been reported in Sunderbans region. South 24 Parganas district spokesperson said, “Lakhs of people have been evacuated from the coastal area and they took shelter in 63 multipurpose cyclone shelters and over 500 government buildings.”
Two deaths have been reported in North 24 Parganas district till 6.45 pm. A woman died after a tree fell on her at Minakhan area and a teenage girl died after being bit by a tin shed at Haroa.
A severe cyclonic storm hit Kolkata around 7 pm. The power was cut and the region has no mobile network