Cyclone ‘Amphan’ has intensified into an extremely severe storm and is all set to unleash heavy rains coupled with high-velocity winds in coastal Odisha, prompting the State government to prepare for

Cyclone Amphan has intensified into an extremely severe storm and is all set to unleash heavy rains coupled with high-velocity winds in coastal Odisha, prompting the State government to prepare for the possible evacuation of 11 lakh people.
Here are the latest updates:
37 NDRF teams to combat dual challenge of cyclone Amphan, COVID-19
The NDRF has enhanced its strength to a total of 37 teams, with the addition of 20 more, to combat the dual challenge of cyclone Amphan amid the coronavirus pandemic, the chief of the federal contingency force said on Monday.
S N Pradhan, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)Director General, said the force is fully geared with all the equipment and paraphernalia to face the developing situation which the Indian Meteorological Department has said will turn into a very severe cyclonic storm by this evening and continue to be so for sometime.
A total of 37 teams have been deployed by NDRF in West Bengal and Odisha, out of which 20 teams are actively deployed and 17 are on standby in the two states, Pradhan said in a video message.
A single NDRF team has a strength of about 45 personnel.
Bengal braces for cyclone
While the Odisha government is preparing for a possible evacuation of 11 lakh people residing in vulnerable areas, the West Bengal government has issued an alert in coastal districts and sent relief teams.
Under the cyclones impact, the coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal, including North and South 24 Parganas, Kolkata, East and West Midnapore, Howrah and Hooghly are likely to experience light to moderate rain at many places with heavy downpour at isolated places on May 19, G K Das, Director of the Regional Meteorological Centre in Kolkata said.
Relief materials, dry fruits and trampoline have been dispatched to coastal areas, a senior official said.
We are taking all measures to tackle any contingency. Special control rooms have been set up, and State Disaster Relief Force teams have been deployed. We are also making announcements through public address systems, the official said.
Quick response teams comprising trained civil defence volunteers and vehicles with necessary equipment have already reached the districts. The State Emergency Operation Centre, functioning at the state secretariat, is in constant touch with district EOCs, officials said.
MHA advisory
The Ministry of Home Affairs has sent advisory to Odisha and West Bengal governments regarding the movement of Amphan.
The MeT department, which has issued an orange warning for West Bengal, said Amphan is likely to cross the West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Digha and Hatiya Islands in the afternoon or evening of May 20 as a very severe cyclonic storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 155 to 165 kmph gusting to 185 kmph before losing some steam ahead of landfall.
PM to chair meeting on cyclone Amphan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a high-level meeting at 4 pm to review the situation arising out of cyclone Amphan, which is likely to hit the eastern coast.
To review the arising cyclone situation in various parts of the country, PM @narendramodi ji will chair a high level meeting with MHA & NDMA, today at 4pm, Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted.
The Prime Minister is the chairman of the NDMA.
Odisha begins evacuation
Odisha on Monday began evacuation of people from coastal villages in the northern districts as the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted that the extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan could intensify into a super cyclone in the next 12 hours.
As preparedness measure for possible cyclone, 567 cyclone shelters and 7,000 concrete buildings have been identified to accommodate about 11 lakh people, the Odisha government said.
Besides, three of the National Disaster Response Force, 12 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, 355 fire service units have been deployed to deal with cyclonic situation.
In Dhamra area of Bhadrak, people have been alerted about the cyclone. Similarly, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara district administrations asked the people staying low-lying areas to move out to safer places. – Satyasundar Barik
Amphan may intensify into super cyclone in next 12 hours, says IMD
Amphan, now raging in the Bay of Bengal, is likely to intensify into a super cyclone the severest category in the next 12 hours, according to an update from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday.
Until Sunday evening, the IMD had said it was likely to be a less strong extreme cyclonic storm. Amphan is expected to generate wind speeds up to 230 kmph, gusting to 265 kmph and make landfall in Digha, West Bengal, by May 20 and veer towards Bangladesh.
Rains in coastal Andhra, Yanam
Under the influence of Amphan, rain or thundershowers are very likely to occur at a few places over coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam during the next 24 hours.
Heavy rainfall is likely to occur at one or two places over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and Yanam during the same time, according to V.V. Bhaskar, Director, Cyclone Warning Centre, Visakhapatnam.
Strong surface winds, with speed reaching 40-50 km/hr likely off Andhra Pradesh coast during the next 24 hours, ending at 6 p.m., on Monday. The sea condition would be rough and fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea.
Second cyclone warning in Pamban
 Cyclone warning signal two was hoisted by Pamban Port officials on Sunday.
Fishermen, as a precautionary measure, had been instructed not to venture into sea. Rain likely in some coastal pockets during the next 24 hours, according to an IMD report.
The district administration and the Department of Fisheries warned fishers to be careful of the brewing storm during the next 24 hours.