Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy on Monday said that the state has to evacuate around 50,000 to 60,000 people as cyclone 'Amphan' nears. Speaking to ANI, he said, "We will have to evacuate around 50,000-60,000 people. 1000 personnel of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force have been deployed."
Tripathy said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has reviewed the current situation and coordination between various departments involved in the preparedness against the upcoming cyclone.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting in New Delhi to review the response measures against cyclone 'Amphan' developing in the Bay of Bengal and has assured all support from the Central government. The Prime Minister took full stock of the situation and reviewed the response preparedness as well as the evacuation plan presented by the NDRF.
Reviewed the preparedness regarding the situation due to cyclone ‘Amphan.’ The response measures as well as evacuation plans were discussed. I pray for everyone's safety and assure all possible support from the Central Government. https://t.co/VJGCRE7jBO— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 18, 2020
The IMD on Tuesday said, "Super Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’ over west-central and adjoining east-central Bay of Bengal moved north-northeastwards with a speed of 14 km/ph during past 6 hours & lay centred at 5:30 am today over the west-central Bay of Bengal about 520 km nearly south of Paradip, Odisha."
It added that it is very likely to weaken into an extremely severe cyclonic storm during the next 6 hours. 'Amphan' is very likely to move north northeastwards across the northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal–Bangladesh coasts between Digha and Hatiya Islands close to Sundarbans during afternoon/evening of 20 May, the agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.
Cyclone Amphan is a very intense storm which can wreak large-scale damage, India Meteorological Department Director-General M Mohapatra said on Monday.
'Amphan' has intensified into a super cyclonic storm and is expected to make landfall on May 20 between the Digha islands in West Bengal and Hatia islands of Bangladesh, Mohapatra said at a press briefing. "Cyclone Amphan is very intense. It has the potential to wreak large-scale damage," Mohapatra said.
He added that the coastal districts of West Bengal will receive heavy to extremely heavy rainfall on May 19 and 20. This includes East Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata in West Bengal.
(With agency inputs)