CAN 2020 JUST END ALREADY? Every time there is a bit of good news, it’s accompanied by a wave of bad news. Just as Odisha’s Bhubaneswar Got Declared COVID-19 Free, Just 2 Months After Its First Case, it looks like Odisha will have to deal with an all new battle. As predicted by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Odisha might get hit with its second worst ever cyclone, equivalent of a category 5 hurricane, that has hit the Bay of Bengal. The Odisha & West Bengal governments are doing all they can to evacuate people – all thorough COVID-19 times. Bangladesh will also be impacted by the cyclone.
‘Super-Cyclone’ Amphan’ To Hit Odisha
Cyclone Amphan (pronounced Um-Pun), is moving at a speed of 220 to 230 kilometers per hour and has been forecasted to be the worst storm over the Bay of Bengal since the 1999 super cyclone that hit Odisha. IMD confirmed that they have officially moved the status of the cyclone from an ‘Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm’ into a ‘Super Cyclone’.
Heavy rains are already lashing Odisha and the cyclone itself is expected to make its landfall on the east coast on Wednesday, May 20, afternoon. At the time of impact, Cyclone Amphan is expected to carry heavy to extremely heavy rainfall with wind speed up to 195 kmph.
6 districts in Odisha will be most impacted and will have to brace for impact, namely Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur and Jagatsinghpur. In West Bengal, three coastal districts of East Midnapore, South 24-Parganas and North 24-Parganas are expected to be the worst affected by Cyclone Amphan.
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In light of the current situation, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed about 53 teams in Odisha and West Bengal. Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy has confirmed that more than half a lac people will be evacuated from the coastal towns of the state. In the mean time, the Bangladesh government has readied the evacuation of over 2 million people.
The 1999 cyclone has claimed over 10,000 lives and the government is doing all it can in disaster management. Even Prime Minister Modi acknowledged the cyclone and said the cyclone hit states would get full support from the centre.