Cyclone Amphan: IMD issues alert for West Bengal, Bangladesh coasts

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New Delhi (NVI): Cyclonic storm “Amphan” over the southeast Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a “Very Severe Cyclonic” storm during the next 12 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today, while issuing a fresh warning for West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts.

Cyclone Amphan is likely to intensify and cross West Bengal and Bangladesh by May 20 evening, IMD said. Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal are likely to be affected while Odisha also braces for a severe storm. IMD has also predicted heavy rainfall in these areas and 12 coastal districts are on alert. The department has issued a Yellow alert.

“It is very likely to intensify further into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 12 hours. It is very likely to move nearly northwards slowly during next 24 hours and then re-curve north-northeastwards and move fast across northwest BoB and cross West Bengal – Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Islands (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) during afternoon/evening of 20th May 2020 as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm,” the IMD said in a statement today.

(Source: IMD)

“Yesterday’s depression over southeast Bay of Bengal (BoB) intensified into a deep depression in the same afternoon (1430 hrs IST of 16th May), into cyclonic storm ‘AMPHAN’ (pronounced as UM-PUN)’in the same evening (1730 hrs IST of 16th May) over the central parts of south BoB,” it added.

The weatherman had issued a warning for the cyclone yesterday as well. The cyclone further intensified into a severe cyclonic storm at 8:30 am (0830 hrs IST) today and lay centred over the same region near latitude 11.4°N and longitude 86.0°E, about 990 km south of Paradip (Odisha), 1140 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal) and 1260 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh), the IMD said.

(Source: IMD)

In view of the approaching cyclone, 17 teams of National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in Odisha and West Bengal, General SN Pradhan, Director, NDRF said.

While issuing the warning, IMD said light to moderate rainfall at most places is very likely over Andaman & Nicobar Islands during next 24 hours.

Fishermen are advised not to venture into south Bay of Bengal during next 24 hours, to central Bay of Bengal during 17th to 18th May and North Bay of Bengal during 18th to 20th May 2020.