Amphan: Biggest cyclone in twenty years spurs India to evacuate tens of thousands

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: May 19, 2020, 01:43 PM(IST)

Cyclone Amphan Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Cyclone Amphan, moving at a speed of 220 to 230 kilometers (137-143 miles) per hour, is forecast to be the worst storm over the Bay of Bengal since the 1999 super cyclone that hit Odisha. 

As cyclone Amphan intensified into a super-cyclonic storm, the West Bengal and Odisha governments on Tuesday started evacuating people from the coastal belts in view of the strong winds and heavy rainfall that may devastate a large part of the south Bengal districts.

Cyclone Amphan is now a Category 5 cyclone in the Bay of Bengal and can become a very severe cyclonic storm potentially in the next 24 hours.

All fishing activities have been suspended in both the states until May 20, according to reports. 

Cyclone Amphan, moving at a speed of 220 to 230 kilometres (137-143 miles) per hour, is forecast to be the worst storm over the Bay of Bengal since the 1999 super cyclone that hit Odisha, said Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director-general of the Meteorological Department. The super cyclone had killed about 10,000 people in the state.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Amit Shah has spoken to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and reviewed the preparedness for Cyclone Amphan, reported news agency ANI. 

Shah assured both the chief ministers that the Centre was committed to helping the state and already teams of NDRF have been deployed.

(With inputs from agencies)

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