The MeT department stated that Cyclone Amphan, formed in the Bay of Bengal with Odisha and West Bengal in its crosshairs, is likely to become a super cyclone in 12 hours. “It intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm at 2:30 am today. It is expected to further intensify into a super cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours,”sources quoted IMD director general Mrutyunjaya Mohapatra. What this means for the impact on coastal districts remains to be seen, as no official statement has been released yet.
The IMD has earlier stated that Amphan is likely to cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Islands in West Bengal and Hatiya islands in Bangladesh between afternoon and evening of May 20 as a very severe cyclonic storm.
Amphan formed over as deep depression over Southeast Bay of Bengal and remained practically stationary during on Saturday evening before rapidly intensifying into the cyclonic storm. It lay centred about 980km south of Paradip in Odisha, 1,130 km south-southwest of Digha in West Bengal and 1,250 km south-southwest of Khepupara in Bangladesh.
Under its impact, the coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal, including North and South 24 Parganas, Kolkata, East and West Midnapore, Howrah and Hooghly are likely to experience light to moderate rain at many places with heavy downpour at isolated places on May 19.
On May 20, rainfall will occur in many places over the districts in Gangetic West Bengal, with heavy to very heavy downpour in North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts, the IMD predicted.
In Odisha, ‘Amphan’ is likely to trigger heavy rainfall in some parts of Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts, while moderate rainfall will lash other coastal areas Monday onwards, the MeT Centre said.
Light to moderate rain or thundershower is likely to occur at most places over coastal Odisha, while heavy to very heavy rainfall will lash some places over the coastal areas on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Light to moderate rain or thundershower will occur at many places over north coastal Odisha and some places over the rest of the districts of Odisha on May 20 and 21. There will be heavy rainfall at some places over Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar districts on these two days.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into north Bay of Bengal along and off West Bengal-Odisha coasts from May 18 to 21 and those who are out in the sea, were asked to return to coasts by May 17. Distant Warning Signal No.2 (DC-2) was hoisted at all ports of Odisha.