Cyclone Amphan: NDRF deploys 32 teams in West Bengal and Odisha, keep many stand-by

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on May 18, 2020

NDRF personnel are seen near a coastal village in Odisha in their effort to evacuate villagers before the Cyclone Amphan makes landfall.   -  Special Arrangement

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 32 teams in West Bengal and Odisha and kept another nine teams on stand-by as Cyclone Amphan is feared to have transformed into a supercyclone, similar to that wreaked havoc in Odisha in 1999, NDRF chief ND Pradhan said on Monday.

Pradhan, who along with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra briefed the media about the supercyclone , said that the NDRF, along with the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the police forces in the two States have already swung into action in order to minimise the casualty and physical destruction that can be caused by the monster storm.

From the fact that there were three different meetings, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, Home Minister and Prime Minister respectively on Monday, demonstrated that the Centre is not leaving no stone unturned in ensuring the safety of people living in those areas where the landfall is expected to occur on Wednesday afternoon or evening – between Digha in West Bengal and Hatiya Islands in Bangladesh.

Besides, the 41 teams of NDRF, five more battalions of NDRF have been put on high alert in different parts of the country so that they can be deployed at shortest possible notice.

Strong winds and heavy rainfall

Mohapatra, on the other hand, said apart from strong winds with speeds of 165-175 kilometre per hour (kmph), gusting to 195 kmph and heavy rainfall, the supercyclone can trigger high tidal waves affecting mainly low-lying areas in West Bengal’s South 24 and North 24 Parganas and East Midnapore districts.

The gales can destroy many thatched houses and old pucca houses, uproot trees and electric and telecom poles. Similar damage is feared in coastal Odisha districts of Bhadrak and Balasore which fall in the path of the supercyclone.

IMD has called for the total suspension of fishing operations between Monday and Wednesday, diversion and suspension of rail and road traffic and advised people to stay indoors and evacuate those living in low-lying areas.

It also recommended stopping movement of motor boats and small ships in Gangetic West Bengal.

Published on May 18, 2020

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