'Amphan' intensifies into super cyclone over eastern India, Bangladesh

The India Meteorological Department on Monday said that extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan over the west and central parts of Bay of Bengal has intensified into a "super cyclone" with wind speed above 200 km per hour

May 18, 2020
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The India Meteorological Department on Monday said that extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan over the west and central parts of Bay of Bengal has intensified into a "super cyclone" with wind speed above 200 km per hour.  Amphan may cross Bangladesh coast between late Tuesday night and Wednesday evening, the country's Met Department said on Monday.

Due to the weather condition, heavy rainfall is expected to hit coastal Odisha by Monday evening and West Bengal's coast the following day, IMD's in-charge for cyclones, Sunita Devi said.

The super cyclone currently lay centred at about 770 km south of Odisha's Paradip, 920 km south-southwest of West Bengal's Digha and 1,040 km south-southwest of Bangladesh's Khepupara.

It is very likely to move nearly northwards for some more time and then north-northeastwards across northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya islands in Bangladesh close to Sundarbans during the or afternoon-evening of May 20.

According to Vineet Kumar, researcher at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, this is the first time that super cyclones have been recorded in two consecutive years, Kyarr in 2019 and Amphan this year. The IMD has issued an orange alert for coastal West Bengal and Odisha, where it said widespread damage is expected.

The storm moved northwards and currently lies over the west-central Bay and adjoining south Bay, The Daily Star newspaper quoted the latest special weather bulletin of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department as saying.

It is likely to intensify further and move in a north-northwesterly direction and then re-curve north-northeast wards, it said.

Maximum sustained wind speed within 74 km of the storm centre is about 110 kph rising to 130 kph in gusts/squalls. Sea will remain very high near the cyclone centre, the bulletin said.

Bangladesh's maritime ports of Chattogram, Cox's Bazar, Mongla and Payra have been advised to keep hoisted local warning signal No. 4.

All fishing boats and trawlers over north Bay and deep sea have been advised to remain close to the coast and proceed with caution till further notice, so that they can take shelter within a short notice. They are also advised not to venture into the deep sea.