Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held a meeting to review the preparedness of states and central agencies as cyclone Amphan intensified into a super cyclonic storm. The review meeting was attended by Home minister Amit Shah along with top officers of Indian Metrological Department (IMD), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
The Met department has informed that the super cyclone is expected to make landfall on the West Bengal coast in the afternoon of May 20 as an extremely severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds ranging up to 195 kmph. It will cause heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of the state.
In West Bengal, districts of East Medinipur, South & North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata are likely to be worst-affected. The storm is also likely to impact coastal districts of north Odisha, including Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak and Balasore districts.
The IMD has warned of a storm surge of about 4-6 meters height above the astronomical tide which would inundate low lying coastal areas of South & North 24 parganas, and 3-4 meters height in East Medinipur, districts of West Bengal at the time of landfall.
25 @NDRFHQ teams deployed in Odisha and West Bengal. Additionally, 12 teams kept on standby, along with units of armed forces.
— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) May 18, 2020
This cyclone has the potential to cause extensive damage in coastal districts of West Bengal.
The Prime Minister has directed that all necessary measures be taken to complete evacuation of people from areas in cyclone path and maintain adequate quantities of essential supplies, an official statement said.
“All concerned have been advised to make adequate preparations to ensure the maintenance of essential services such as power, telecommunications in the event of damages caused to them and also to review their preparedness well in time and ensure the quick resumption of services in the event of any disruption,” the statement said.
Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations. Army and Air Force units in these states have also been put on standby.
The NDRF has deployed 25 teams in Odisha and West Bengal. Additionally, 12 teams have been kept on standby. The teams are equipped with the requisite materials like boats, tree cutters, telecom equipment etc.
The weather department has been issuing regular bulletins with the latest forecast for all the concerned states. The Union Home Ministery is also in continuous touch with the state government, it said.