Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday spoke to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik and offered the Centre’s support to deal with the situation arising out of super cyclone Amphan. The super cyclonic storm is very likely to weaken into an extremely severe cyclonic storm before it hits the West Bengal coast on Wednesday, the Met department said.
During his phone calls with Banerjee and Patnaik, Shah took stock of the situation in the two states. The assurance from the home minister comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting with top officials to review the response measures and preparedness to tackle Cyclone Amphan.
Amphan, pronounced as um-pun, means sky. The name was given by Thailand in 2004.
It has the potential to cause large-scale damage, the weather office had said. It intensified into a super cyclonic storm on Monday and as of 8:30 am on Tuesday, it was about 480 km away from the Odisha’s Paradip coast and 630 km from Bengal’s Digha.
This is the second super cyclone over the Bay of Bengal in two decades.
When it hits Bengal tomorrow, Amphan will still pack winds of up to 180 kmph.
The weather office has forecast heavy rain in parts of Bengal and Odisha On Tuesday and Wednesday. Coastal Odisha has already started receiving rain which is likely to intensify by tonight. Parts of Sikkim, Assam and Meghalaya could also see light to moderate rain tomorrow and Thursday.
Cyclone Amphan is likely to lead to rough sea conditions. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea off the coasts of Bengal and Odisha till Thursday.