Super cyclone Amphan to hit coastal areas from afternoon: IMD

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) Heavy rains lashed Digha in West Bengal and Paradip Coast in Odisha on Wednesday morning as Super cyclone Amphan was expected to hit the coastal areas of both the Indian states and also of neighbouring country Bangladesh in afternoon.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the Super cyclone Amphan was about 120 km east-southeast of Paradip in Odisha at 8.30 a.m. "It is to cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Digh (west Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) close to Sunderbans. The Landfall process to commence from afternoon," the IMD stated.

The department also pointed that Super cyclone Amphan centred at 7.30 a.m. on May 20, 2020, as an extremely severe cyclonic storm over northwest Bay of Bengal about, 125 km nearly east-southeast of Paradip, 225 km south of Digha and 380 km southwest of Khepupara in Bangladesh.

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The department stated that the current intensity of Super cyclone Amphan near the center is 170-180 kilometre per hour and gusting to 200 kilometre per hour.

According to the observations from the coast, the IMD said that wind speed at Paradip was 102 kilometre per hour, at Chandbali 74 kilometre per hour, at Bhubaneshwar it was 37 kilometre per hour, at Balasore 61 kilometre per hour and in Puri the speed was 41 kilometre per hour.

As super cyclone Amphan barrels towards the Indian shores, the government had evacuated lakhs of people from vulnerable areas and shifted to safety.

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On Tuesday, IMD Director General M. Mohapatra had warned that there will be extensive damage to buildings, and uprooting of trees and electric and communication lines. "Amphan is very intense and has the potential to wreak large scale damage," Mohapatra had said.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General S.N. Pradhan had said that Amphan is a 'super cyclone' and it is a serious issue. "The only other cyclone of this magnitude hit Odisha in 1999 and it was very deadly," Pradhan had stated.

The Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla also spoke to Chief Secretaries of West Bengal and Odisha to make necessary arrangements and preparedness against the cyclone.

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--IANS

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