Million Lives at Stake as Cyclone Amphan heads closer to Land

Million Lives at Stake as Cyclone Amphan heads closer to Land
Pic Courtesy: Sudharshan Patnaik
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When world is battling an invisible enemy, India’s eastern coastal states of West Bengal and Odisha are bracing for Super Cylone Amphan which is expected to make landfall on Wednesday. Amphan is infact the strongest cyclone ever recorded in Bay of Bengal.

Amphan became strongest on Monday night after its speed intensified to 270 kph. Lives of millions of people not just in India but also in Bangladesh may be affected by Cyclone Amphan once it makes landfall. Southern states of Kerala has already started witnessing heavy rainfall due to impact of the cyclone.

In 1999 a super cyclone hit Odisha coast killing around 9000 people. Amphan is reported to be stronger, infact strongest of all other cyclones that have hit the eastern coastal region of region. The Category 4 Amphan is capable of inflicting severe damage to lives and property of millions of people residing in West Bengal and Odisha. Home Minister Amit Shah assured Chief Minister of West Bengal of all the assistance required to deal with the cyclone. Evacuation have already begun in the coastal areas of West Bengal and Odisha. The Indian Meteorological Department has issued an Orange Alert for Bengal and Odisha as the cyclone Amphan heads closer to the eastern coast.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in its latest bulletin said that the ‘super cyclone’ is likely to weaken into an ‘extremely severe storm’ during the next six hours as it nears West Bengal and Bangladesh. Bangladesh has already ordered an evacuation of 2 million people as the Cyclone Amphan approaches the coast. Indian railways has suspended the special trains on Bhubaneswar-Kharagpur route.

Central government is actively monitoring the situation. Not just Mamata Banerjee, Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and assured him of any support required at the affected areas. The Indian Metrological Department has said that the cyclone is expected to weaken into an “Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm” within 6 hours. However, it must be noted that even if it weakens, the cyclone is expected to bring massive surge of sea level ashore which may be as high as 6 meters (20 feet).

Every year Indian coastal areas have been hit by cyclones during monsoon. However, this time the situation is completely different. Country is already battling a pandemic, Coronavirus and now the cyclone which is considered to be strongest of all the cyclones that have stuck Indian coastal region. The extent of casualty depends upon the severity level of Amphan when it hits the land.   

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