Intensity of Amphan Cyclone increases, threat to Odisha and West Bengal

New Delhi: The strength of the Amphan cyclone, which was a result of the low-pressure area created in the Bay of Bengal, has increased tremendously. The cyclone is moving towards the coast of West Bengal at a speed of 200 kilometres per hour. The weather bureau has warned that this immensely powerful cyclone can cause major damages to the coasts of Odisha and West Bengal. Such an intense storm has developed in the Bay of Bengal after 21 years. Nearly 1.1 million citizens may be affected by the cyclone, and so, the process of shifting them to safe zones has already started. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a detailed briefing regarding the preparations for the cyclone crisis.

Alert has been issued in West Bengal, because of the Amphan cyclone, and it is predicted that this cyclone will hit the West Bengal coast by Wednesday afternoon. The cyclone is moving in the north-eastern direction, and by afternoon on 20th May, it will cross the Digha and Hatia islands. The speed of the cyclone is predicted to be around 185 kilometres per hour at that time.

While the Amphan cyclone is moving towards India, there is a possibility of heavy to very heavy rains, with strong winds, in many districts of West Bengal. With the increased intensity of the cyclone, rains with strong winds have been predicted on the Odisha coast too. After this warning, the state government has started the evacuation of 1.1 million citizens to safe zones. The Odisha government has declared an alert in 12 districts, and the districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj may be the worst affected.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi had a detailed assessment of the situation and also evaluated the plan of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for shifting the citizens to safe zones. 25 NDRF units have been deployed in Odisha, and 12 have been kept on standby. The Director-General of NDRF informed that 24 units of the NDRF have been kept in a state of readiness around the country. Electric supply is likely to be affected because of the cyclone. Fears are being expressed that this may hit the railways and massive losses could be caused to agriculture.

Meanwhile, the cyclone which had developed in the Bay of Bengal had caused massive losses in the year 1999. Nearly 9,000 people had died in West Bengal because of the cyclone. The administration has pulled up its socks so that the same kind of casualties are not repeated this time.

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