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Cyclone Amphan Approaching Bengal Coast

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Sumi Khan, Dhaka & Richa Sayantika , Calcutta 

Cyclone Amphan, which is expected to make a landfall in the West Bengal- Bangladesh coastline on Wednesday, has turned in to a “super cyclone”, the weather office said this afternoon.

 It had intensified into an extremely severe Cyclonic storm overnight. 

“The Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’ (pronounced as UM-PUN) intensified into Super Cyclonic Storm at 1130 IST of today, the 18th May, 2020.” The India Meteorological Department or IMD tweeted this afternoon.

Bangladesh , while grappling with coronavirus pandemic,  is facing another big challenge as Amphan has forced authorities to evacuate people in coastal areas which makes  social distancing and maintaining hygiene with limited resources very difficult.

Bangladesh Meteorological Department has asked maritime ports of Mongla and Payra to hoist danger signal number seven, and port of Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar to hoist danger signal number six, due to the intensified very severe cyclonic storm Amphan.

Coastal districts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bagherhat, Jhalokathi, Pirozpur, Borguna, Patuakhali, Bhola, Barishal, Laxmipur, Chandpur and their offshore islands and chars will come under danger signalnumber 7. 

Coastal districts of Noakhali, Feni, Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, their offshore islands and chars will come under danger signal number six. These areas also might experience wind speed up to 140-160 kph in gusts/squalls with heavy to very heavy falls during the passage of the storm

All fishing boats and trawlers over north bay and deep sea have been advised to take shelter immediately and will remain in shelter till further notice.

At a special weather bulletin on Monday afternoon (May 18), weatherman Bazlur Rashid of the Met office advised the maritime ports to lower its earlier local warning signal 4.

According to the bulletin, the very severe cyclonic storm ‘Amphan’ over southeast Bay and adjoining southwest Bay moved northwards and intensified over the west central Bay and adjoining south Bay and was centred at 3:00pm today (May 18).

It is likely to intensify further and move in a northerly direction and then recurve north-northeastwards and may cross Bangladesh coast between Khulna-Chattogram during late night of May 19 to May 20 afternoon to evening.

Maximum sustained wind speed within 85kms of the cyclone centre is about 210 kph rising to 220 kph in gusts/ squalls. Sea will remain very high near the cyclone centre.

Under the influence of the very severe cyclonic storm “Amphan” and the new moon phase, the low-lying areas of those districts, offshore islands and chars are likely to be inundated by storm surge of 4-5 feet height above normal astronomical tide..

The Super Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’ (pronounced as UM-PUN) over Westcentral and adjoining central parts of South Bay of Bengal moved nearly northwards with a speed of 11 kmph during past 06 hours and lay centred at 1730 hrs IST of today, the 18th May, 2020 near latitude 14.0°N and longitude 86.3 °E over Westcentral Bay of Bengal about 700 km nearly south of Paradip (Odisha), 860 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal) and 980 km south-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh).

It is very likely to move north-northeastwards across northwest Bay of Bengal and cross West Bengal – Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) close to Sundarbans during the Afternoon / Evening of 20th May 2020 as an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 165-175 kmph gusting to 195 kms am hour.

Odisha 

Coastal Odisha is likely to experience light to moderate rainfall at many places from tonight with heavy falls at isolated places over coastal Odisha (Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur & Kendrapara Districts) on 18th May, 2020. Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places over north coastal Odisha (Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Balasore, Bhadrak & Mayurbhanj Districts) and isolated heavy falls over Khordha & Puri districts on 19th May and isolated heavy rainfall over north Odisha (Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Kendrapara and Keonjhar Districts) on 20th May 2020. 

West Bengal

Coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal (East Medinipur, South & North 24 Parganas) are likely to experience light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy falls at isolated places on 19th May. Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places & extremely heavy falls at isolated places likely over Gangetic West Bengal (east & west Medinipur, south & north 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogli, Kolkata and adjoining districts) on 20th May and isolated heavy rain over interior districts on 21st May, 2020.

Sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim

Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places over Malda & Dinajpur districts on 20th May and over most of the districts of Sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim on 21st May, 20.

Assam & Meghalaya

Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places over the western districts of Assam & Meghalaya on 21st May.

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