19 May 2020
New Delhi: Super Cyclone Amphan will hit West Bengal around afternoon on Wednesday with a "devastating wind speed" that is likely to cause "widespread damage", said the IMD Chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra on Tuesday.
He said it is the sharpest and most powerful cyclone in the Bay of Bengal area since 1999.
Coastal Bangladesh, East Medinipur and two 24 Parganas of West Bengal along with Kolkata will face the brunt of the massive wind speed, warned the IMD. During the landfall, the wind speed will be more than 150 km per hour.
Slums in urban areas, huts in rural areas and trees and telephone poles may face the brunt, warned the IMD. Accordingly, train and bus services are diverted from these areas, as per advice of the IMD.
In gangetic West Bengal, severe rainfall which will start from tonight is predicted while heavy to very heavy rainfall is predicted in parts of Odisha. While passing through, Assam and Sikkim will also witness heavy to very heavy rainfall on May 21.
The storm will continue from afternoon to night tomorrow, said the IMD.
"Extensive damage" is predicted that may devastate old pucca houses in the area as well. All shipping operations have ben warned to completely stay off. Everyone from the affected areas has been warned to stay indoors as the wind speed has a power to uproot telephone and electric poles and disrupt trains.
In bad news for farmers of both West Bengal and Odisha, all agricultural fields in affected districts are expected to be completely devastated.
Meanwhile, Anshu Prakash of the Department of Telecommunication, has already held meetings with different service providers and intra-circle roaming has also been prepared, he added. This roaming is to ensure if any mobile service goes down after the landfall, that mobile can latch on to any available mobile service provider, without any extra charge, said Prakash.
He also said that enough generators are being kept handy. Post landfall, priority will be given to restore the broadband connection, he added.
Meanwhile, a 24x7 control room has been set up by both the DoT and the Power Ministry. Spare parts, DG sets have already been kept ready to restore power in affected areas of West Bengal and Odisha, said the Union Power Ministry.
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, in its third meeting on Tuesday stressed "timely and complete evacuation" of people from low-lying areas.