Cyclonic storm ”Amphan” over the southeast Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a Severe Cyclonic Storm in the next 12 hours and into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm by Monday morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
“Cyclonic storm ‘AMPHAN’ over Southeast Bay of Bengal & neighbourhood moved northwestwards slowly during past 6 hours & lay centred over the same region at 2030 hrs on 16 May. It’s likely to intensify further into Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 12 hrs,” Meteorological Centre in Bhubaneswar warned.
“And into a very severe cyclonic storm by 18 May morning. It’s very likely to move north-northwestwards initially till 17 May & then re-curve north-northeastwards across the northwest Bay of Bengal towards WB & adjoining North Odisha from 18 to 20 May,” it added.
According to the forecast, Squally wind speed reaching 65 to 75 kmph gusting to 85 kmph prevailing over southeast and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal is likely to increase becoming 90-100 kmph gusting to 110 kmph over east central and adjoining west central Bay of Bengal by today evening.
By 18 May morning, southern parts of Bay of Bengal likely to witness wind speed of 125-135 kmph gusting to 150 kmph. Wind speed of 160-170 kmph gusting to 190 kmph likely to be witnessed over northern parts of central Bay of Bengal and adjoining north Bay of Bengal on May 19 and with speeds of 155-165 kmph gusting to 180 kmph over north Bay of Bengal by 20 May morning.
“Fishermen are advised not to venture into south Bay of Bengal from 16-17 May, to central Bay of Bengal from 17-18 May and north Bay of Bengal during 19-20 May. Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea along and off Odisha coast from 18 May onwards,” the IMD warned in its forecast.
In view of the cyclone, 20 teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), 17 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and 335 units of State Fire and Disaster Management (SFDF) have been directed to be on standby for any potential relief and rescue missions.
Four NDRF teams have been moved to Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur and Balasore districts. 11 ODRAF units have been pre-positioned in eight coastal and nearby districts. Further deployment is being planned.
Health and Family Welfare Department has taken preparedness measures. Collectors have been directed to shift temporary medical quarantine centres situated within 3 kilometres from the seashore in the coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapada and Jagatsinghpur for safe accommodation of migrant workers.