Personnel of the NDRF were deployed on Sunday in West Bengal and Odisha, which said it was ready to undertake massive evacuation of 11 lakh people likely to be severely hit by the cyclone ‘Amphan’, officials said.
The cyclone, according to an IMD report, has intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal. It is likely to make landfall somewhere between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya Islands in Bangladesh on Wednesday.
“The trajectory is mostly towards West Bengal, Sagar Islands and probably towards Bangladesh…. But we have to watch the trajectory very closely. NDRF has deployed the teams well in advance. They are either deployed or moving towards the destination,” S N Pradhan, the chief of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said in New Delhi.
LISTED ARE 10 DEVELOPMENTS ON CYCLONE AMPHAN
1. As cyclone Amphan rolls in towards the Indian shores ominously, it is likely to unleash heavy rain and high-velocity winds in large swathes of coastal Odisha and West Bengal.
2. It is likely to cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Islands in West Bengal and Hatiya islands in Bangladesh between afternoon and evening of May 20 as a very severe cyclonic storm, Regional MeT Director in Kolkata GK Das said.
3. Odisha, which has been ravaged by a string of cyclones over the last few years, including the cyclone Fani last year, has made arrangements to shift 11 lakh people from vulnerable areas, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said.
4. On Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s direction, the district collectors of Ganjam, Gajapti, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Cuttack, Khurda and Nayagarh have been asked to remain alert.
5. Special relief commissioner said of the 809 cyclone shelters in the 12 coastal districts, 242 are currently being used as temporary medical camps for the returnees from different states amid the Covid-19 lockdown.
“We have 567 cyclone and flood shelters available to house the people in case evacuation is required. In addition, we have arranged 7,092 buildings to keep people if required,” Jena said.
6. The railways said the AC special trains between New Delhi and Bhubaneswar will be diverted for four days from Monday. The trains will travel on diverted route via Bhubaneswar-Angul-Sambalpur City-Jharsuguda-Rourkela-Tata route, bypassing Bhadrak-Balasore-Hijli track during the period.
7. Arrangements have already been made to restore power, water supply, clear roads, start rescue and relief operations immediately after the cyclone impact subsides in the state.
8. Under its impact, the coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal, including North and South 24 Parganas, Kolkata, East and West Midnapore, Howrah and Hooghly are likely to experience light to moderate rain at many places with heavy downpour at isolated places on May 19.
9. Seven teams of NDRF have been deployed in South 24 Parganas, North 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Howrah and Hooghly of West Bengal. In Odisha, 10 teams have been deployed in seven districts — Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj.
10. In view of the impending cyclone, the Odisha government will stop road movement for three days from the evening of May 18 to May 20. The district collectors have been asked to direct the border checkposts not to allow entry of anyone during the period.
Amphan, which is in the category of a very severe cyclonic storm, is most likely to intensify into an extremely severe cyclonic storm by Monday evening attaining a maximum wind speed of 170 to 180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph, Das said. The system is very likely to lose some power as it approaches landfall.
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