Cyclone Amphan: PM Modi reviews response preparedness with NDRF

The Centre said it has the potential to cause extensive damage in the coastal districts of West Bengal when it makes landfall on Wednesday

Cyclone Amphan
Cyclone Amphan is expected to make a landfall between Digha in East Midnapore district and Hatiya islands in Bangladesh on May 20 (Representative Image)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday (May 18) chaired a high-level meeting to review the response preparedness against cyclone Amphan, developing in the Bay of Bengal area. The 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.

PM Modi took a comprehensive stock of the situation and reviewed the measures along with an evacuation plan presented by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office (PMO).

During a presentation on the disaster response plan, the NDRF Director General stated that 25 NDRF teams have been deployed on the ground, while 12 others are ready in the reserve. The force chief said that 24 other NDRF teams are also on standby in different parts across the country.

The cyclonic storm, Amphan, is moving at a speed of 13 kmph over west central and the adjoining central parts of south Bay of Bengal. The cyclone is likely to gain a lot more strength and intensify further into a super cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours, according to IMD.

The high-velocity winds of the cyclone may cause severe damage to the mud houses and some partial damage to pucca structures. The winds may also cause uprooting or bending of power and communication poles, minor disruption of railway network, and may also affect the overhead power supply lines. Damage to signalling systems, standing crops, plantations and orchards has also been predicted by the IMD.

The central government said the cyclone has the potential to cause extensive damage in the coastal districts of West Bengal when it makes landfall on Wednesday. “Amphan” will cause heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal, it said in an official statement.

RELATED NEWS: PM Modi to chair meeting on cyclone Amphan

The districts of East Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata in are likely to be worst affected due to “Amphan”. The storm is also likely to impact the coastal districts of north Odisha, including Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak and Balasore.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed officials to prepare a plan for relocating the people residing in vulnerable areas to other safer places along with an early restoration of drinking water supply, affected road communication, infrastructure electricity, and power supply to hospitals.

HR Biswas, Director of the Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar said that cyclone Amphan lays centred around 790 km south of Paradip in Odisha, 1060 km south-southwest of Khepupara in Bangladesh, and 940 km south-southwest of Digha in West Bengal.

(With inputs from agencies)

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