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New Delhi, May 18, 2020
Super cyclone Amphan over the Bay of Bengal is very likely to cross the West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts, close to Sunderbans, during the afternoon/evening of May 20 as an extremely severe cyclonic storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 165-175 km gusting to 195 kmph, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said here today.
In a cyclone warning for the West Bengal and north Odisha coasts issued at 2230 hours, the IMD said Amphan (pronounced as Um-Pun), which had intensified into a super cyclonic storm, had moved nearly northwards with a speed of 15 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 2030 hours IST near latitude 14.5°N and longitude 86.4 °E over Westcentral Bay of Bengal, about 640 km nearly south of Paradip (Odisha), 800 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal) and 920 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh).
"It is very likely to move north-northeastwards across northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal – Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) close to Sundarbans during the afternoon/ evening of 20th May 2020 as an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 165-175 kmph gusting to 195 kmph," the bulletin said.
According to it, coastal Odisha is likely to experience light to moderate rainfall at many places from tonight with heavy falls at isolated places over coastal Odisha (Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts) during the night today.
It said rainfall would occur at most places over north coastal Odisha ((Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Balasore, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj districts) tomorrow with isolated heavy rainfall over north Odisha (Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Keonjhar districts) on May 20.
The coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal (East Medinipur, South & North 24 Parganas) are likely to experience light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy falls at isolated places on 19th May.
Rainfall at most places is likely with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places & extremely heavy falls at isolated places over Gangetic West Bengal (East & West Medinipur, South & North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogli, Kolkata and adjoining districts) on 20th May and isolated heavy rain over interior districts on 21st May, it said.
Light to moderate rainfall is likely at most places in Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places over Malda and Dinajpur districts on 20th May and over most of the districts of Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim on 21st May.
Light to moderate rainfall is likely at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places over the western districts of Assam and Meghalaya on 21st May.
The bulletin said squally wind speed reaching 45 to 55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is likely to commence along and off south Odisha coast from this evening, increase becoming 55 to 65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph and extend to along & off north Odisha coast from 19th morning and along and off West Bengal coast from 19th afternoon.
The wind speed will gradually increase becoming gale wind speed reaching 75 to 85 kmph gusting to 95 kmph from 20th morning along and off north Odisha (Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts) and West Bengal (East & West Medinipur, South & North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogli, Kolkata districts). It will gradually increase thereafter becoming 110 to 120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph along and off the above mentioned districts of North Odisha.
Gale wind speed reaching 165 to 175 kmph gusting to 195 kmph is very likely along and off East Medinipur and North & South 24 Parganas districts and 110-120 kmph gusting to 130 kmph over Kolkata, Hoogli, Howrah and West Medinipur districts of West Bengal during the time of landfall (20th afternoon to night).
Squally wind speed reaching 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph is likely to prevail over Puri, Khordha, Cuttack and Jajpur districts of Odisha during 20th May,
As far as the deep sea area is concerned, according to the bulletin, gale wind speed reaching 230-230 kmph gusting to 265 kmph is prevailing over northern parts of central Bay of Bengal and adjoining North Bay of Bengal from tonight to 19th May morning.
Gale wind speed reaching 200-210 gusting to 230 kmph is likely over north Bay of Bengal from 19th morning and gradually decrease becoming 165-175 kmph gusting to 195 kmph by 20th evening.
The bulletin said the sea condition is phenomenal and likely to continue for the next 24 hours over southern parts of Westcentral Bay of Bengal. It will become phenomenal over northern parts of central Bay of Bengal and adjoining north Bay of Bengal on 19th May and over north Bay of Bengal on 20th May.
The IMD advised fishermen not to venture into west-central and adjoining central parts of south Bay of Bengal during the next 24 hours, to central Bay of Bengal on 19th May and into North Bay of Bengal during 19th to to 20th May.
Also, fishermen are advised not to venture into North Bay of Bengal along and off North Odisha, West Bengal and adjoining Bangladesh coasts during 18th to 20th May.
Storm surge of about 4-6 meters above astronomical tide is likely to inundate low lying areas of South & North 24 Parganas and about 3-4 meters over the low lying areas of East Medinipur district of West Bengal during the time of landfall, it said.
The IMD said extensive damage was expected to all types of "kutcha" houses and some damage to old, badly managed "pucca" structures in East Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogli and Kolkata districts. There is potential threat from flying objects, it said.
It also warned of the possibility of extensive uprooting of communication and power poles, disruption of rail/road links at several places, extensive damage to standing crops, plantations and orchards, blowing down of palm and coconut trees and uprooting of large bushy trees. Large boats and ships may get torn from their moorings.
The bulletin called for total suspension of fishing operations during 18th to 20th May and diversion or suspension of rail and road traffic.
People in the affected areas must remain indoors. Authorities should mobilise evacuation of people from low-lying areas.
The bulletin also warned of the possibility of similar damage, though on a lesser scale, in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jajpur and Mayurbhanj districts of Odisha.