Cyclone Amphan to impact 24 Parganas, East Medinipur the most: IMD


New Delhi, May 19 : The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday that super cyclone Amphan is expected to have the biggest impact in South and North 24 Parganas and East Medinipur districts of West Bengal. Addressing a press briefing, IMD chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said, "Amphan is expected to make the biggest impact in South and North 24 Parganas and East Medinipur districts of West Bengal. It will cross West Bengal and Bangladesh coast between Digha and Hatia island during afternoon to evening of May 20, with maximum wind speed of 165-175 kmph, gusting to 195 kmph." Mentioning that Amphan has turned into a super cyclone rapidly, the IMD stressed that heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal on May 19 and 20, and heavy to very heavy rainfall in coastal districts of Odisha is likely to occur. Keeping in view the conditions, the IMD has advised a complete shutdown of shipping and boating activities in the vulnerable parts of West Bengal and Odisha till May 20. Rerouting or shutting down of rail and road traffic is also advised in the areas which the super cyclone is expected to hit. "The super cyclone is likely to cause extensive damage to 'kuchcha' houses and old structures. Off rooting of trees, telephone poles, palm trees etc. is also expected. Ships and large boats can be damaged heavily," Mohapatra said. The IMD said that the wind speed could be around 165-175 kmph when the cyclone crosses east Medinipur and North and South 24 Parganas districts. "Strong winds will be felt over Kolkata, Hooghly, Howrah and West Medinipur," it said. During the briefing, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General, Satya Narayan Pradhan, said, "In West Bengal, a total of 19 teams are deployed, and four teams are on standby. In Odisha, 13 teams are deployed and 17 are on standby. While some NDRF teams are in the area, some are in transit and will reach by today or tomorrow morning," he said. The Director General said that the teams are on their feet and carrying out awareness drives and evacuation in the area which are slated to be affected by the cyclone. Sanitisers and preventive medicines have also been given to the forces as the country will face a "dual challenge" with the Covid-19 pandemic and the cyclone. The super cyclone is currently moving northwards with a speed of 7 kmph for the past few hours and is centred at about 730 km south of Odisha's Paradip, 890 km south-southwest of West Bengal's Digha and 1,010 km south-southwest of Bangladesh's Khepupara. It is expected to cross between Digha and Hatia in Bangladesh close to the Sundarbans on May 20. The weather agency has issued an orange alert for coastal West Bengal and Odisha, where it said widespread damage is expected. /IANS


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