On Monday, May 18, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has reported that storm system Amphan has intensified into a Super Cyclonic Storm on Monday, May 18, and is forecast to strengthen further and bring heavy rain and strong winds to parts of West Bengal and Odisha states in the coming days. As of 11:30 (local time) on Monday, the storm system was located over the west-central and adjoining southern parts of the Bay of Bengal and is forecast to strengthen further into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm on Tuesday night, May 19. Forecasts indicate Amphan will move northward and then northeastward across the Bay of Bengal before making landfall between Digha (West Bengal state) and Hatiya Island (Bangladesh) on the afternoon or evening of Wednesday, May 20, packing maximum wind speeds of 165-175 kph (103-109 mph) and gusts of 185 kph (115 mph).
Coastal Odisha is expected to experience light-to-moderate rainfall in many places from Monday evening, with heavy rainfall forecast in Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, and Kendrapara districts. Heavier rain will fall across much of the state on Tuesday and across the north of the state on Wednesday. Squally winds of up to 55 kph (34 mph), gusting up to 65 kph (40 mph), will commence on Monday and gradually increase over Tuesday and Wednesday morning, before reaching up to 175 kph (109 mph) on Wednesday evening.
In West Bengal, the coastal districts of East Medinipur and South and North 24 Parganas will experience light to moderate rainfall on Tuesday, with isolated heavier rain in places. Heavy-to-extremely heavy rain will fall over the Ganges Delta on Wednesday, and the interior of the state is forecast to receive isolated heavy rainfall on Thursday, May 21. Winds of up to 65 kph (40 mph) are forecast for coastal areas on Tuesday morning and will gradually increase to up to 175 kph (109 mph) by Wednesday evening.
Extensive damage to insecure structures, power lines, and crops are expected, particularly in coastal areas of both states. The IMD has recommended fishing operations be suspended from Monday through Wednesday. Damage to roads and railway lines is also possible during the passing of the storm.
Associated flooding, landslides, and transportation and business disruptions are anticipated in Odisha and West Bengal states, as well as disruptions to power and communications services in the coming days.
Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult.
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