20 May 2020
Bhubaneswar: Natural disasters across the nation have created chaos in the past, but kudos to India Meteorological Department (IMD) which has been instrumental since the last few years in saving lives from such disasters; let it be Cyclone Amphan which made landfall at Sundarbans in West Bengal on Wednesday.
Cyclone Amphan have caused severe damages along its path in the State of Odisha and West Bengal, but no major casualty was reported from both the States as respective Governments had braced up for the worst after getting an indication from the IMD.
Odisha Government, after the IMD on May 15 predicted that a low pressure over southeast Bay of Bengal is expected to concentrate into a depression and further intensify into a cyclonic storm over south and adjoining central parts of Bay of Bengal, had put Collectors of 12 districts on alert.
Though the State Government had directed Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and fire service personnel to be prepared, it was still uncertain whether the storm will hit north Odisha or move towards West Bengal or Bangladesh.
Later on May 18, when the system had already intensified into a Super Cyclone, IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra informed that it is expected to make a landfall between the Digha Island and the Hatiya Island of Bangladesh, close to the Sundarbans, on May 20.
Mohapatra had said the cyclone would have an early impact on the north coastal districts of Odisha, like Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore. Further on May 19, he had informed that it is expected to make the biggest impact in South and North 24 Parganas and East Medinipur districts of West Bengal.
IMD has been providing regular and accurate updates, irrespective of what other international agencies were forecasting, which helped the State Governments and the disaster response teams to preposition at vulnerable areas for timely evacuation, rescue and rehabilitation, as a result, saving precious lives. Reportedly, over 6 lakhs people were evacuated in both Odisha and West Bengal before time.
The Super Cyclone had on Tuesday weakened into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm and now to a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm. According to the IMD, it will dull down to Severe Cyclonic Storm by 11 PM on Wednesday, Cyclonic Storm by 5.30 AM and Depression at 11.30 AM on Thursday.