Amphan to intensify into super cyclone over Bay of Bengal, warns IMD
New Delhi, May 18, 2020
Cyclone Amphan over the Bay of Bengal is very likely to intensify into a super cyclonic storm during the next six hours before crossing the West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts as a very severe cyclonic storm in the afternoon or evening of May 20, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said today.
A bulletin issued by the IMD at 1130 hours today said the extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan (pronounced as Um-Pun) over westcentral and adjoining central parts of South Bay of Bengal had moved north-northwestwards with a speed of 8 kmph during the past six hours and lay centred at 0830 hrs IST of today near near latitude 13.3°N andlongitude 86.3°E, about 780 km nearly south of Paradip (Odisha), 930 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal) and 1050 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh).
"It is very likely to intensify further into a Super Cyclonic Storm during next 6 hours. It is very likely to move nearly northwards for some time and then north-northeastwards across northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal – Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) during the afternoon / evening of 20th May 2020 as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 155-165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph," the bulletin said.
According to it, coastal Odisha is likely to experience light to moderate rainfall at many places from today evening with heavy falls at isolated places over coastal Odisha (Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts) today.
There will be rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places over north coastal Odisha (Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts) on 19th May and isolated heavy rainfall over north Odisha (Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Keonjhar districts) on 20th May.
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. There is likely to be rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places likely over Gangetic West Bengal (East & West Medinipur, South & North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogli, Kolkata and adjoining districts) on 20th May. There will be isolated heavy rain over interior districts on May 21.
The bulletin said there would be light to moderate rainfall at most places over Malda and Dinajpur districts of West Bengal on May 20 and over most of the districts of Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim on May 21.
Light to moderate rainfall is also likely at most places over the western districts of Assam and Meghalaya on May 21, with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places.
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 18th evening. It will increase, becoming 55 to 65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph, and extend to along and 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 155 to 165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph is very likely along and off East Medinipur and North & South 24 Parganas districts and 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph over Kolkata, Hoogli, Howrah and West Mednipur Districts of West Bengal during the time of landfall (20th afternoon to night), the bulletin said.
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 210-220 gusting to 240 kmph is prevailing over west-central and adjoining central parts of south Bay of Bengal. It is likely to increase becoming 220-230 gusting to 250 kmph over northern parts of central Bay of Bengal and adjoining North Bay of Bengal from tonight to tomorrow morning, likely to increase further becoming 230-240 gusting to 255 kmph by tonight.
Gale wind speed reaching 220-230 gusting to 255 kmph is likely over north Bay of Bengal from 19th morning and gradually decrease becoming 155- 165 kmph gusting to 180 kmph by 20th evening, it said.
The bulletin said the sea condition will be phenomenal over west-central and adjoining central parts of south Bay of Bengal during the next 24 hours. 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 4-5 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.