Kolkata: The city faced the super cyclone for six hours as Amphan reached the top speed of 112 kmph-the highest in recent memory and destroyed everything that came in its way.
The authorities acted quickly to move people from the cyclone’s path, but worried they might be putting them into the path of the coronavirus.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already directed the state disaster management authorities to transport the evacuees to temporary cyclone centres for safety. Three coastal districts of East Midnapore, South 24-Parganas and North 24-Parganas are expected to be the worst affected in the cyclonic spell.
Besides these three districts, cyclone Amphan is also likely to affect other south Bengal districts like Howrah, Hooghly, West Midnapore and Kolkata.
“Cyclone Amphan has intensified as a super cyclone. We are expecting this to make a landfall with devastating wind speed in the coastal belts of Bay of Bengal – somewhere between Digha and Hatya Island in Bangladesh, located close to Sundarbans,” Met department official Sanjib Banerjee said.
Meanwhile, at least 12 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been kept on stand-by as the cyclonic storm is likely to hit a large part of the coastal districts with “very heavy rainfall” on Wednesday evening. Besides West Bengal, a warning has also been issued for Odisha, Sikkim and Meghalaya till Thursday.
Sources said that at least seven NDRF teams have been deployed in six West Bengal districts, including East Midnapore, West Midnapore, South 24-Parganas, North 24-Parganas, Hooghly and Howrah.
Twenty four-hour control rooms have been opened in several districts to review the situation. Several steps have been taken by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and the Kolkata Police to monitor the situation on an hourly basis. A centralised control room has also been opened at the KMC, Arannya Bhavan and the state secretariat Nabanno to keep a close watch on the situation.