Cyclone Amphan, which has weakened from a super cyclone to an 'extremely severe cyclonic storm', is likely to make a landfall in Bengal between Wednesday afternoon and evening even as strong winds accompanied by heavy rain lashed different south Bengal districts since morning.
Super Cyclone Amphan became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Bay of Bengal after intensifying with sustained wind speeds of up to 270 kilometers per hour at the start. The chief of NDRF said that rescue forces and administration are concerned and geared to tackle a storm surge or tidal waves up to 4-6 metres high as it is a new moon night or 'amavasya'.
Here's how India is tackling the Super Cyclone Amphan
4.5 lakh people evacuated
About 4.5 lakh people have been evacuated from vulnerable area in West Bengal and Odisha. As per data received from the state governments, about 1.20-1.25 lakh people have been evacuated in Odisha and about 3.30 lakh in West Bengal in view of the cyclone.
NDRF to the rescue
The NDRF has deployed a total of 41 teams, including reserves, in the two states for relief and rescue works in wake of the cyclone. As many as 15 teams are in active deployment and five are in reserve for seven districts of Odisha, while 19 teams are actively deployed and two in reserve for six districts of West Bengal, the NDRF chief had said on Tuesday.
The MeT department's "orange message"
The MeT department has issued an "orange message" for West Bengal, which warned of extensive damage in Kolkata, Hooghly, Howrah, South and North 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts.
It advised that all establishments and markets remain closed in Kolkata and adjoining areas and movement of people be restricted on Wednesday.
Cyclone Amphan live updates: Tidal waves as high as 6 metres expected in Bengal
The Eastern Railway (ER) has cancelled the departure of Howrah-New Delhi AC Special Express for Wednesday.
The departure of 02301 Howrah-New Delhi AC Special Express on Wednesday and 02302 New Delhi-Howrah AC Special Express on Thursday would remain cancelled, the ER said.
Indian Navy's diving team
The Indian Navy has dispatched a diving team for providing assistance to the West Bengal government in relief operations, according to a defence official.
The diving team from Visakhapatnam has brought specialised equipment along with them which can be used for rescue in case of flooding and have been positioned at the Naval Service Selection Board at Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas district, the official said.
Indian Coast Guard
The Indian Coast Guard has deployed 20 disaster relief teams (DRT) along the eastern coast in view of cyclone 'Amphan'. These teams will help in relief operations at short notice, the coast guard said.
100 cyclone shelters
There are around 100 cyclone shelters spread across the coastal districts of North 24 Parganas, East Midnapore and South 24 Parganas, officials said.
Extra shelters were being prepared in wholesale markets and government buildings with allowances made for social distancing, while masks and scarves were being distributed among the villagers.