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Cyclone Amphan Turns ‘Very Severe’, Disaster Response Teams Deployed In Odisha, WB

Bhubaneswar: The cyclonic storm ‘Amphan’ over central parts of South Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm on Sunday.

It is very likely to move nearly northwards slowly during next 12 hours and then re-curve north-northeastwards and move fast across northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal – Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) during the afternoon / evening of May 20 as a ‘Very Severe Cyclonic Storm, informed Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), Pradeep Jena.

Squally wind speed reaching 45 to 55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is likely to prevail along and off south Odisha coast from 18th evening, 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 and West Bengal coasts.

It will gradually increase thereafter becoming 110 to 120 kmph gusting to 135 kmph along & off North Odisha coast and 120 to 140 kmph gusting to 155 kmph along & off West Bengal coast from the afternoon of May 20.
Odisha Chief Minister today directed officials to chalk out a plan to relocate people living in vulnerable areas to safer places.

As many as 10 NDRF teams and 15 ODRAF units have been pre-positioned in the coastal districts of the State to meet any eventuality due to the cyclone.

Official sources said 20 teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), 17 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 335 units of Fire and Disaster Management are in readiness to be pressed into service.

While 10 NDRF teams and 15 ODRAF units have been pre-positioned in 6 coastal and 4 nearby districts, further deployment will be planned after getting information from the IMD about the path of the cyclone, said Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Jena.

He said concerned departments and 12 authorities of coastal and adjoining districts-Gajapati, Ganjam, Nayagarh, Puri, Khurdha, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj-have been advised to undertake required preparedness measures to effectively handle the disaster.

Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapada and Jagatsinghpur districts have been instructed to remain fully prepared, said the SRC.

The cyclone, according to an IMD report early Sunday, is developing into a severe cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal and can potentially become a very severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours, S N Pradhan, the chief of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said in New Delhi.

“The trajectory is mostly towards West Bengal, Sagar Islands and probably towards Bangladesh…. But we have to watch the trajectory very closely. NDRF has deployed the teams well in advance. They are either deployed or moving towards the destination,” he said.

Odisha is likely to receive heavy rain under the influence of severe cyclonic storm Amphan, which is predicted to skirt away from the northern coast of the state and make landfall between West Bengal and Bangladesh.

According to the IMD, rainfall will commence in Odisha from May 18 with heavy rainfall likely to occur at isolated places over the district of Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara. SRC Jena said the district collectors have been asked to plan for evacuation people living in vulnerable areas to safer places, if needed.

Besides, the officials have been directed to prepare plan for early restoration of affected road communication, drinking water, electricity, infrastructure and an uninterrupted power supply to hospitals.

As preparedness measure for possible cyclone, 567 cyclone shelters and 7000 pucca buildings have been identified to accommodate about 11 lakh people.

You May Also Read: Cyclone Amphan grows severe, 5 met models change landfall place to West Bengal!

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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