Tropical Cyclone Amphan to Strike W.Bengal, Odisha With Major Storm Surge

by GoNews Desk 4 years ago Views 1819

Lakhs have been evacuated from Odisha and West Bengal as ‘Super Cyclonic Storm’ Amphan is expected to make landfall on Wednesday. The tropical cyclone has intensified rapidly in the Bay of Bengal and will bring dangerous winds, storm surge and flooding to coastal areas in India and Bangladesh.

With thousands of migrant on the way home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, disaster management will face a daunting task. The NDRF, navy and air force are on standby after and the PM held an assessment meet to review preparedness.


The Indian Meteorological Department has warned of a storm surge of up to 4-5 meters with Cyclone Amphan making landfall with maximum sustained windspeeds of 155-165 km/hour, gusting to 185 km/hour, bringing with it torrential rainfall.


UN humanitarian agencies stepped up preparations in the Rohingya settlements of Cox’s Bazar, home to approximately 1.2 million refugees and host community members.

“Communities are already vulnerable to the devastating health crisis and we know that if people are forced to seek communal shelter, they will be unable to maintain physical distancing and run the risk of contracting or transmitting the disease,” said the International Organization for Migration, which cited government statistics that, as of 18 May, five cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the refugee population at Cox’s Bazar, based on 140 tests.

According to the World Meteorological Organisation, the tropical cyclone season in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea has two peaks, around May and around November and, in the past, the basin witnessed huge casualties.

The deadliest tropical cyclone on record, the Great Bhola Cyclone in November 1970, killed at least 300,000 people in modern-day Bangladesh and led to the establishment in 1972, of a body in charge of the regional coordination mechanism for tropical cyclones, the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones.

Extensive and coordinated disaster risk reduction campaigns have, in recent years, limited casualties.

For instance, extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani made landfall in Odisha on May 3 2019. Accurate advance forecasts and a huge, well-coordinated disaster risk reduction campaign, including the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people, were credited with keeping the death toll to a minimum. This was in contrast to the 1999 Odisha cyclone which caused thousands of deaths in India.

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