The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday, May 17, issued an alert for a cyclonic storm in West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts after Cyclone Amphan intensified over the Bay of Bengal.
Cyclone Amphan brewing in the Bay of Bengal lay 1,220 km south-southwest of Digha in Bengal is likely to bring heavy to very heavy rain in the coastal districts of the state from May 19, the IMD stated.
Taking to Twitter, the MeT office said, "Cyclonic storm AMPHAN lies over South-East Bay of Bengal. To intensify into very severe cyclonic storm by 18th May and cross West Bengal and Bangladesh coast by 20th evening."
Cyclone Amphan is likely to make landfall in between Sagar Islands (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) during the afternoon/evening of May 20 as a very severe cyclonic storm, HR Biswas, Director of IMD Bhubaneswar, said.
The storm is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm today evening and move north-northwestwards till May 17, Regional Met Director G K Das said.
It is very likely to recurve north-northeastwards thereafter towards the West Bengal coast from May 18 to 20, he said.
Under its impact, the coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal, including North and South 24 Parganas, Kolkata, East and West Midnapore, Howrah and Hooghly will experience heavy to very heavy rain on May 19 and 20, Das said.
Fishermen warned not to venture into sea
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into north Bay of Bengal along and off West Bengal-Odisha coasts from May 18 to 21, and those who are out in the sea were asked to return to coasts by May 17.
Sea condition will be very high to phenomenal over north Bay of Bengal on May 19 and 20, Das said.
Wind speeds along and off the coastal areas of West Bengal will reach 45 to 55 kmph with gusts of 65 kmph from May 19 afternoon, and will gradually increase to 75 to 85 mph with gusts up to 90 kmph from the morning of May 20, the weatherman said.
NDRF, Armed Forces, Indian Coast Guard on alert
In the wake of the impending cyclone, Union Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Saturday held a meeting with the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) to review the preparations.
During the meeting, officers of the concerned state governments confirmed their preparedness to deal with any emerging situation arising out of the cyclonic storm.
The NDRF, Armed Forces and the Indian Coast Guard have been put on alert and are coordinating with the state government authorities.
(With agency inputs)