New Delhi: Cyclone Amphan’s landfall process has begun in West Bengal and it will continue for 4 hours, informed the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
Packing winds of 160-170 kilometres per hour (kmph) gusting up to 190 kmph near its centre, Cyclone Amphan, officially described as “extremely severe”, started to make landfall along India’s West Bengal coast.
The eye of the storm was 35 km to the south of Sagar Island on the mouth of the Hooghly river at the time. Flowing past Kolkata, the Hooghly is the westernmost distributory of the Ganga.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said the entire storm would take around four hours to cross over to land.
The West Bengal government has reportedly evacuated over 200,000 residents of coastal villages.
The Bangladesh government was reported to be evacuating an estimated two million people from its coastal region at the same time. The path forecast for Cyclone Amphan does not take it through coastal Bangladesh – it is expected to enter the country much further north.
The current wind intensity around the centre of Amphan is serious enough to bring down trees and overhead electrical wires, take tin roofs off mud huts and maybe collapse the huts altogether.
The storm had weakened from a super cyclone to an extremely severe cyclonic storm on Tuesday and triggered strong winds and rain in parts of Odisha and Bengal. This is the second pre-monsoon cyclone to hit India in two years and has been anticipated as one of the worst storm over Bay of Bengal in decades.