NEW DELHI: Cyclone Amphan could cause “extensive damage” in the coastal districts of West Bengal, especially East Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Kolkata, the Centre warned.On late Monday afternoon, Cyclone Amphan intensified into a super cyclone from an extremely severe cyclonic storm. The cyclone is rapidly moving towards the coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh, where it is expected to make landfall on May 20.
Over 25 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are deployed in West Bengal and Odisha for rescue and relief operations. Additionally, 12 teams are being kept on standby. “Amphan will cause heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the coastal districts of West Bengal,” the Centre said in a statement. Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations. Army and Air Force units in the states have also been put on standby.
Earlier, PM Narendra Modi held a meeting with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to review the preparedness in different parts of the country. “Reviewed the preparedness regarding the situation due to cyclone ‘Amphan’. The response measures as well as evacuation plans were discussed. I pray for everyone’s safety and assure all possible support from the Central Government (sic),” Modi tweeted.
The meeting was also attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Principal Advisor to Prime Minister PK Sinha and Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, besides other senior government officers.