Super cyclonic storm Amphan is all set to hit a large part of the coastal areas with "very heavy rainfall" on Wednesday evening. West Bengal, Odisha, Sikkim and Meghalaya are on alert in the wake of the cyclone.
Cyclone Amphan is likely to make a landfall between West Bengal's Digha and Hatya Island in Bangladesh. A part of it may also make a landfall somewhere between Kakdwip and Sagar Island in West Bengal's South 24-Parganas.
At present, the super cyclonic storm lies centred over west-central Bay of Bengal about 570 km nearly south of Paradip in Odisha, 720-km south-west of Digha (West Bengal) and 840-km south-southwest of Khepupara in Bangladesh.
At least 12 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been kept on stand-by. Home minister Amit Shah spoke to chief minister of West Bengal and Odisha — Mamata Banerjee and Navin Patnaik — and all assured them all possible help to deal with the situation arising out of the super cyclone 'Amphan'. Shah took stock of the situation in West Bengal, official added.
Six districts in Odisha are expected to be the most affected when super cyclone Amphan makes landfall by becoming a very severe cyclonic storm, said Umashankar Das, deputy director, IMD Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. These districts include Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur and Jagatsinghpur.
In Bengal, three coastal districts of East Midnapore, South 24-Parganas and North 24-Parganas are expected to be the worst affected in the cyclonic spell. Besides these three districts, cyclone Amphan is also likely to affect other south Bengal districts — Howrah, Hooghly, West Midnapore and Kolkata.
Round-the-clock control rooms have been opened in several districts to review the situation. Several steps have been taken by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and the Kolkata Police to monitor the situation on an hourly basis.
A centralised control room has also been opened at the KMC, Arannya Bhavan and the state secretariat Nabanno to keep a close watch on the situation.
Under its impact, light rains were witnessed in several areas of Puri, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Khurda districts of Odisha, and the intensity of rainfall and wind speed is likely to increase gradually, a Met official said.
IMD Director-General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said since the super cyclone is gradually weakening, and its impact is unlikely to be very severe on Odisha.
However, coastal districts like Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore are likely to be battered by heavy rains coupled with high velocity winds from Tuesday evening, he said.
(With inputs from agencies)