Cyclone Amphan hits Bengal live updates : Storm nears West Bengal’s Digha, landfall to start from 4pm onwards.
Extremely severe cyclone ‘Amphan’ hurtled towards Indian shores on Wednesday, triggering downpour in coastal Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal, uprooting trees, flattening fragile dwellings and forcing evacuation of over four lakh people.
‘Amphan’ is likely to make a landfall somewhere between Digha and Hatiya islands in Bangladesh close to the Sunderbans.
Amphan weakened from a super cyclone to an “extremely severe cyclonic storm” on Tuesday, causing strong winds and heavy rain in parts of Odisha and Bengal as it advanced towards the Indian coast.
The storm is expected to pack winds gusting up to 185 kilometres per hour when it crosses West Bengal’s Digha and Hatiya island of Bangladesh where around 20 million have been moved to over 12,000 shelters.
It is only the second “super cyclone” to form in the northeastern Indian Ocean since records began. Indian Navy is on “high alert” on the east coast for relief efforts.
More than five lakh people have been evacuated to safety in Odisha and Bengal.In Kolkata,the airport has been shut till tommorow after the city, close to the coast, was put on alert. Visuals showed strong winds and winds battering coastal parts including Paradip in Odisha and South Paraganas in Bengal.
Seven districts of Bengal are likely to face the direct impact of the cyclone. A storm surge – as high as five metres above the astronomical tide – will inundate the low-lying coastal areas in Bengal.
Describing the vulnerable areas as “red plus zones”, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has said she would stay overnight in the control room tonight.