Cyclone Amphan LATEST Updates: Director General of National Disaster Relief Force informed the media today that four additional teams of NDRF will be airlifted to Kolkata to boost the rescue and relief operations. He said that two teams from Rajali airbase in Chennai and two more from Pune in Maharashtra will be sent to West Bengal.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said 72 people have died so far in the state due to cyclone Amphan. Of the total, 17 of them were from Kolkata.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Thursday urged people not to venture outside till an "all clear" signal is issued by the government.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the entire nation stands with West Bengal and assured "no stone will be left unturned" to help those affected by the devastating cyclone Amphan.
"Have been seeing visuals from West Bengal on the devastation caused by cyclone Amphan. In this challenging hour, the entire nation stands in solidarity with West Bengal. Praying for the well-being of the people of the state. Efforts are on to ensure normalcy," tweeted Modi.
He further said that NDRF teams are closely monitoring the situation and also working in close coordination with the West Bengal government.
Roads clearance process has picked up pace and has been completed in some localities. It'll take some time to restore electricity and telecom services in affected areas which will need assistance of technicians and gangmen and we're ready to help them wherever required, said NDRF chief SN Pradhan.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said the cyclone’s impact on the state was worse than that of the coronavirus, and claimed the damages would be around Rs 1 lakh crore, NDTV reported.
"Area after area has been devastated," NDTV quoted her as saying, "Communications are disrupted." She added that though five lakh people have been evacuated, state authorities had not entirely anticipated the ferocity of the cyclone.
Mamata spent the entire day at a control room in Kolkata, The Indian Express reported. "On one hand we are fighting with COVID-19, on the other hand lakhs of migrants are coming back," she said. "Over all this now the cyclone. I think that this is a disaster bigger than COVID-19. I would request [the Centre] please forget politics and cooperate with us and save the people.”
Heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely over Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, reported the Weather Channel.
Widespread rain/snow and thunderstorms have been predicted over Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, while just widespread showers and thunderstorms are expected over Assam and Meghalaya.
Super cyclonic storm Amphan is moving north-northeastwards with speed of 27 kilometres per hour in the past six hours reported All India Radio News on Thursday.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) carry out road clearance and restoration work in West Bengal after after extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan hit the state on Wednesday.
NDRF Director-General SN Pradhan tweeted photographs of restoration work by NDRF personnel at various locations in West Bengal, including North 24 Parganas, Purba Medinipur, Howrah, Kolkata and South 24 Parganas.
Barrelling in from the Bay of Bengal with wind speeds of up to 185kmph, severe cyclonic storm Amphan on Wednesday cut a swathe through northern Odisha before bearing down on West Bengal, where it claimed 10 to 12 lives.
The storm flattened houses and cast aside trees and electricity poles in six-and-a-half hours of monstrous fury that left Kolkata and most of south Bengal pulverised.
An extremely severe cyclone packing winds of up to 190 kmph Wednesday rampaged through coastal Odisha and West Bengal, dumping heavy rain, swamping homes and farmland, and leaving at least three people dead, officials said.
A man and a woman were reportedly killed when trees came crashing down on them in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal while, a 13-year-old girl died in a similar incident in adjoining Howrah. No casualties have been reported from Odisha yet.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is monitoring the situation from Nabanna, the state secretariat, however, claimed at least 10-12 people lost their lives.
"Area after area has been ruined. I have experienced a war-like situation today. At least 10-12 people have died. Nandigram, Ramnagar....the two districts of North and South 24 Parganas are destroyed," she said.
As per IMD, Amphan intensified into extremely severe cyclonic storm and is likely to become super cyclone. PTI
After making landfall at 2.30 p.m. between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya island in Bangladesh, cyclone Amphan cut a swathe through the coastal areas, flattening fragile dwellings, uprooting trees and electric poles. At least 6.58 lakh people were evacuated in West Bengal and Odisha before the cyclone struck.
"The forward sector of the wall cloud region is entering into land in West Bengal. The intensity of the cyclone near its centre as the landfall process started was recorded at 160-170 kmph, gusting to 190 kmph," the weather department said.
NDRF chief SN Pradhan told a press conference in New Delhi that 20 teams of the federal disaster response force had already begun road clearing operations in Odisha, while the 19 units deployed in West Bengal were shifting people to safety.
Quoting figures made available by the two states, Pradhan said over 5 lakh people were evacuated in West Bengal and more than 1.58 lakh in Odisha.
TV footage showed gigantic tidal waves crashing into a seawall in Digha, close to the landfall site.
Thick sheets of rain blurred the vast coastline in the two states and surging waters engulfed mud-and-thatch houses, flattening them in a trice. Heavy machinery was moved in to clear the roads blocked by falling trees.
A video clip of an under-construction Kolkata skyscraper showed huge aluminium sheets flying like bird feathers in air.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General Mrityunjay Mohapatra, who jointly addressed the media with Pradhan, said gale-strength winds speeding at 160-170 kmph were pounding South and North 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts and could be gusting up to 185 kmph.
He said the wall of the eye of the monster cyclone, the most explosive part of a cyclonic system, triggered copious rain in the three districts. The eye of the storm itself was 30 km in diameter, he said.
Mohapatra said the intensity of the rain and winds accompanying it could deceptively look like ebbing away briefly, but will surge afresh once the rear sector of the storm has reached the landmass.
The whole cyclonic system reached the landmass by 7 pm, before moving forward in fury.
Reports arriving in Kolkata from North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore said roofs of thatched houses were blown away, electric poles got twisted and hundreds of trees broken and uprooted. Streets and homes in low lying areas of Kolkata were swamped with rainwater.
Alipore in central Kolkata recorded a massive 222 mm of rainfall and Dumdum 194 mm between 8 am and 8.30 pm. Even when the rain stopped in most parts of Kolkata after 9 pm, high-velocity winds continued to sweep the metropolis and its satellite towns.
Almost the entire city was plunged into darkness since the evening as electric supply either got snapped due to rain and wind or was suspended as a precautionary measure. Cell phone services were disrupted in many places.
Despite losing its force a bit since Tuesday, the storm, which was categorised as super cyclone at one point of time, left the two eastern states on edge as it hollered on its destructive path.
Mamata Banerjee said the enormity of the devastation will become clearer by Thursday when the storm will have passed over the state.
In Odisha, intense rainfall was recorded in several areas of Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Ganjam, Ganjam, Bhadrak and Balasore districts since Tuesday.
The rains and high-velocity winds ebbed away by late Wednesday night but not before causing massive damage to standing crops, plantations and infrastructure.
Tidal surge of up to five metres occured in North and South 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts of West Bengal, inundating vast tracts of land, officials said.
The turbulence will likely extend to Assam and Meghalaya, triggering heavy to very heavy rain on Thursday.
Mohapatra said since the time the depression formed over the Bay of Bengal on 20 May till the cyclone made the landfall, the IMDs predictions about the path it will take and the timing was accurate and helped the disaster response machinery strategise and execute the plans to minimise the damage effectively.
The cyclonic storm will get weaker while crossing over Nadia and Murshidabad in West Bengal later tonight before entering Bangladesh as a deep depression and dissipating.