Here's how Cyclone Amphan will impact West Bengal and Odisha

The Super Cyclonic Storm is set to make landfall (as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm) between Wednesday afternoon and evening
Cyclone Fani wreaked havoc in Odisha last year (Pic: PTI)
Cyclone Fani wreaked havoc in Odisha last year (Pic: PTI)

West Bengal and Odisha are preparing for Super Cyclonic Storm Amphan (pronounced Um-pan) that is set to make landfall on Wednesday somewhere between the coast of West Bengal (Digha) and Bangladesh (Hatiya Islands). According to the Indian Meteorological Department's (IMD) bulletin, the storm "is very likely to weaken into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm over the next six hours" and will most likely become a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm when it makes landfall. So, how dangerous is it and what should people prepare for?

IMD predicts "wind speed between 155 and 165 kmph gusting up to 180 kmph" will hit several districts of West Bengal, including North and South 24 Parganas (districts adjoining Kolkata) and East Midnapore districts. Parts of West Bengal, including Kolkata, Howrah and Hoogli, is also set to receive heavy to very heavy or extremely heavy rainfall over the next couple of days. Wind speed "between 110 and 120 kmph, gusting up to 130 kmph", is expected in Kolkata, Howrah and Hoogli districts of West Bengal. Odisha, Assam, Meghalaya and Sikkim will also receive light to moderate rainfall, according to the IMD.  

Satellite images of Cyclone Amphan (Pic: IMD)

While the fishermen have been asked to not venture into the Bay of Bengal till May 20, Amphan is also likely to inundate low-lying areas in West Bengal's North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts when the cyclone makes landfall, says the Met department. The Met department also predicts extensive damage to kutcha houses, disruption of roads and railways, uprooting of power and communication lines is likely in several parts of West Bengal and parts of Odisha (Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj). Severe damage of crops is also likely, says the Met department. They have also advised evacuation from the low-lying areas of West Bengal. People in the areas likely to be affected have been asked to stay indoors. There is a potential threat from flying objects and uprooting trees.

According to the Met department, Amphan is likely to weaken into a Cyclone with "wind speed up to 60-70 kmph" by Thursday morning. It is likely to weaken further by Thursday evening and become a Depression. 

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