Bengal on alert as super-cycolne Amphan approaches; PM Modi to review situation - GulfToday

Bengal on alert as super-cycolne Amphan approaches; PM Modi to review situation


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With Amphan turning into a super-cyclone, the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government geared up to make necessary arrangements for the cyclonic spell that is expected to make a landfall in the state on Wednesday.

State government sources said that special arrangements have been made by deploying specialised disaster management teams at Sagar Island and Kakdweep in South 24-Parganas district in Bengal.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has already said that Amphan (pronounced as UM-PUN intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm overnight.

Sources said that at least seven National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed in six West Bengal districts including East Midnapore, West Midnapore, South 24-Parganas, North 24-Parganas, Hooghly and Howrah.

At least 10 NDRF teams are also kept on stand-by as the cyclonic storm is likely to hit the coastal districts with "very heavy rainfall" on Wednesday evening.

Besides West Bengal, a warning has also been issued for Odisha, Sikkim and Meghalaya till Thursday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked for an emergency meeting on Amphan this evening with representation from West Bengal and its neighbouring Odisha. State Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee also called for a meeting this evening to review all the measures taken to tackle the situation that may arise.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level meeting with officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Monday to review the situation due to a cyclonic threat in parts of coastal India.

Modi will chair the meeting at 4 pm, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.

The meeting will be held at the Prime Minister's residence here in which Shah, Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla, and NDMA officials will be present.

The Prime Minister called the meeting a few hours after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday issued a cyclone alert for West Bengal and north Odisha coasts as an extremely severe cyclonic storm 'Amphan' was looming over central parts of south and central Bay of Bengal.

In a statement, the IMD said: "The Very Severe Cyclonic Storm 'AMPHAN' (pronounced as UM-PUN) over central parts of southern Bay of Bengal moved north-northeastwards with a speed of 13 kmph during the past six hours, and has intensified into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm and lies centred at 0230 hrs IST of today over central parts of south Bay of Bengal and adjoining central Bay of Bengal near latitude 12.9 degrees North and longitude 86.4 degrees East, about 820 km nearly south of Paradip (Odisha), 980 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal) and 1,090 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh)."

"It is very likely to intensify further during the next six hours. It is very likely to move north-northeastwards and move fast across northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) during the afternoon/evening of May 20, 2020 as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm," the IMD further warned.

Indo-Asian News Service

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