Cyclone Amphan begins landfall in Bengal

New Delhi (NVI): Cyclone Amphan has started entering the West Bengal coast near the Sunderbans, the IMD said today, as lakhs of people have been evacuated from the region to safer places.

The IMD has said that the landfall process commenced at 2.30 pm and would continue for four hours. The department is closely monitoring the situation along with NDRF and local authorities.

About 4.5 lakh people have been evacuated from the vulnerable areas in West Bengal and Odisha by the NDRF teams.

Amphan slightly weakened from a “super cyclone” to an “extremely severe cyclonic storm” last evening causing heavy rains and strong winds in parts of Odisha and West Bengal.

Indian Navy has also been put on “high alert” on the east coast for relief efforts, according to an official statement.

The cyclone is very likely to move north-northeastwards after it makes landfall and cross West Bengal – Bangladesh coasts between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya Islands in Bangladesh close to Sundarbans till today evening with maximum sustained wind speed of 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph.