Amphan to cross West Bengal, Bangladesh coasts on May 20, extensive damage expected due to devastating wind speed: IMD

Cyclone Amphan will cross West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts by Wednesday night with a very devastating windspeed which is expected to cause large scale and extensive damage to structures, India Meteorological Department (IMD) chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said today.

“Amphan is the most intense cyclone – the second super cyclone – which has been formed in the Bay of Bengal after 1999. We are utilizing all tools and technologies to monitor it. The current wind speed of Amphan is around 200 – 240 kmph, it is moving North-Northwest direction at 15 kmph, but we expect this speed to increase,” Mohapatra said in a press briefing here.

“Amphan will cross West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts between Digha and Hatia Island tomorrow afternoon/evening, speed during landfall will be in the range of 155 – 165 kmph, gusting to 185 kmph, a very devastating speed,” he said.

Speaking further, the IMD chief said: “The devastating wind speed is expected to cause large scale and extensive damage to structures, poles, thatched and asbestos houses, hoardings, trees. We are expecting high wind speed and heavy rainfall to occur together.”

Mohapatra said that IMD has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in North coastal Odisha and extremely heavy rainfall in East and West Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogli, Kolkata and adjoining districts on Wednesday.

“As far as West Bengal is concerned, the districts which can be possibly affected are North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore from tomorrow afternoon till night. Kolkata, Hooghly, Howrah and West Midnapore districts will face wind speed of 110-120 kmph gusting up to 135 kmph,” he said.

“When cyclone will come close to north coastal Odisha, it’s wind speed will be around 110 kmph. According to our forecast, districts in North Odisha including Bhadrak, Balasore, Kendrapara will witness heavy rainfall,” he said.

The IMD chief said that we are dealing with a multi-hazard scenario, extensive damage is expected so no one should be outside and people in low lying areas to be evacuated.
“We suggested that suspension of fishing operations till tomorrow in affected districts of both states. Rail and road traffic to be diverted or suspended. Required action being taken in both states,” he said.

Mohapatra said that IMD is expecting a slight delay in the arrival of monsoon in Kerala due to tropical cyclone. “Monsoon is expected to hit Kerala coast by June 5,” he said.

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