Cyclonic Storm Amphan crossed West Bengal coast this morning and moved towards Bangladesh. Packing winds of up to 190 kmph, Amphan rampaged through coastal Odisha and West Bengal yesterday. The most powerful cyclone to form over the Bay of Bengal in over two decades, Amphan made landfall at 4.30 pm yesterday.
The howling winds, accompanied by heavy downpour flattened houses, uprooted trees and electric poles. Amphan had weakened to ‘very severe cyclone’ category before making landfall. It claimed 12 lives in West Bengal. Kolkata, Howrah, Hooghly, North and South 24 Parganas districts and their nearby areas bore the brunt of the natural calamity.
No casualties have been reported from Odisha yet. Intense rainfall was recorded in several areas of Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Ganjam, Ganjam, Bhadrak and Balasore districts of Odisha.
At least 6.58 lakh people were evacuated in West Bengal and Odisha before the cyclone struck. NDRF chief SN Pradhan said over 5 lakh people were evacuated in West Bengal and more than 1.58 lakh in Odisha. 20 NDRF teams have begun road clearing operations in Odisha, while 19 teams are shifting people to safety in West Bengal.
Amphan moved north-northeastwards with a speed of 28 kilometres per hour during past six hours. It lay centered over Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal as a Severe Cyclonic Storm about 110 kilometres northeast of Kolkata. It is very likely to continue to move north-northeastwards and weaken further into a Cyclonic Storm during next six hours.
Light to moderate rainfall will occur at most places in West Bengal with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places over Malda and Dinajpur districts during next six hours and over most of the districts of Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim today. Rainfall is likely at most places with heavy falls at isolated places over Meghalaya during next six hours and heavy to very heavy falls at a few places over the western districts of Assam and Meghalaya today.