Cyclone Amphan, expected to make landfall in West Bengal by Wednesday evening, has weakened into an “extremely severe cyclonic storm”, causing heavy rainfall in parts of West Bengal and triggering strong winds in Odisha. Huge waves crashed coasts in Tamil Nadu and Kerala under the cyclone’s impact.
The weather alert came as the states continue their fight against the escalating coronavirus crisis. The number of cases in India crossed the 1 lakh-mark on Tuesday.
Forty teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in West Bengal and Odisha, NDTV reported. NDRF chief SN Pradhan said that Cyclone Amphan is “a second disaster coming amid the coronavirus pandemic” and it needed continuous monitoring.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said at least three lakh people have been evacuated from coastal areas, PTI reported. She also spoke to Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who assured her of the Centre’s assistance.
The Border Security Force moved its three floating border posts and 45 other patrol boats deployed to guard the India-Bangladesh riverine front in the Sunderbans and Icchamati river in Bengal amid the cyclone threat, according to PTI.
The weather department said that Amphan is very likely to cross the West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Digha and Hatiya Islands on Wednesday.