Cyclone Amphan Rips Through India

NEWS: The impact of cyclone Amphan recorded wind speeds up to 190 km/ph ripped into West Bengal on Wednesday has left twelve people dead and a trail of destruction. The hurricane has been the strongest storm ever recorded to have struck the Bay of Bengal. The fierce cyclonic storm ‘Amphan’ made landfall at 2.30 pm at Digha in West Bengal, triggering heavy rain and gusty winds, reports NDTV.

Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the east Indian state of West Bengal, has stated that cyclone Amphan is a disaster bigger than Covid-19.

The hurricane has destroyed at least 5,500 homes taking 12 lives due to the impact of cyclone Amphan by Wednesday evening. All reported fatalities took place in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, according to Banerjee.

“The whole of the southern part of the state has been affected. We are shocked. It will take three to four days to asses the damage,” the chief minister said Wednesday at a news conference.

“The cyclone has affected the electricity supply and destroyed many houses, bridges and embankments,” she added.

Airport operations at Kolkata Airport have been suspended until 5 am tomorrow while Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft personnel have been placed on standby to continue relief efforts. The cyclone’s impact and high winds are being felt in Kolkata according to the Indian Meteorological Department.

A total of 41 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed to deal with the emergency arising out of the super cyclone, reports the Indian Express. 

See pictures of the damage caused by cyclone Amphan

Cyclone Amphan is only the second super cyclone to have formed over the Bay of Bengal in two decades. The cyclone event of 1999, killed about 10,000 people as it slammed into India’s coastal state of Odisha. 

The landfall process will reportedly continue for four hours, triggering three-five metres of tidal waves. The cyclone is likely to weaken and move through Nadia and Murshidabad districts and then into Bangladesh as a deep depression, reports News18. Currently, the cyclone Amphan has weakened into a very severe storm. People in West Bengal and Odisha have been advised to not travel as long as the storm is severe. Both states are facing double disasters and we pray for their safety.

Flash flooding is expected across the coastal region by Thursday morning and as the storm travels inland pushes inland, it will weaken significantly, dissipating by Friday.

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