Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be visiting West Bengal and Odisha tomorrow to survey the ground situation after Cyclone Amphan clobbered the eastern states, leaving at least 72 dead and blowing up shanties, uprooting thousands of trees and swamping low-lying areas.
Earlier in the day, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had urged the Prime Minister to visit the state to review the situation.
The India Meteorological Department said the cyclone will dissipate into a deep depression and a depression, the two stages that signify a further weakening of the cyclone, in the next few hours.
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had earlier advised people against going out until government's green signal.
It also said that thunderstorm accompanied by lightning and squall is likely over Bihar; with lightning and gusty winds at isolated places over Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and Meghalaya.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had been monitoring the situation at state secretariat Nabanna on Tuesday night, said the impact of Amphan was "worse than coronavirus" and claimed damages due to the cyclone could be in the region of Rs 1 lakh crore.
Here are the updates on Cyclone Amphan:
India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director-General Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra on Thursday said the wind having the speed of 50-60 Kmph is expected in Bangladesh and Meghalaya for next few hours.
Addressing a press conference with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General SN Pradhan, Dr Mohapatra said this wind is not expected to cause any structural damage.
Dr Mohapatra said that cyclone Amphan has no adverse impact over West Bengal anymore.
PM Modi to conduct aerial survey tomorrow in Bengal of damage caused by Cyclone Amphan" itemprop="description
Road clearance and restoration work by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel are underway after extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan hit West Bengal on Wednesday.
"Severe cyclonic storm Amphan over Bangladesh and adjoining West Bengal coast moved north-northeastwards with a speed of 30 kmph during the past six hours. Very likely to continue to move north-northeastwards and weaken further into a deep depression during the next three hours," the India Meteorological Department (IMD) stated.
Four additional teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are being airlifted to Kolkata on the request of the West Bengal government for the restoration work in the aftermath of super cyclone Amphan and will reach the city by late evening on Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft, the chief of the force, S N Pradhan, said on Thursday.
Mr Pradhan said a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) under the cabinet secretary took place on Thursday to assess the impact of the cyclone and requirements of the states that have been battered by it.
The meeting was also attended by the chief secretaries of Odisha and West Bengal.
The Odisha government informed that life would start coming back to normal in the affected areas within 24-48 hours as 90 per cent of power and telecom connectivity has been restored.
"Over 2.5 lakh people were evacuated in Odisha. These people have started returning to their homes as the weather has cleared," Mr Pradhan said.
From the preliminary input received from the West Bengal government, it seems that impact of the cyclone has been significant in the state, he added.
The India Meteorological Department used all the latest information available to give an accurate prediction on cyclone Amphan, Director General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said on Thursday.
He said the IMD gave accurate forecast on the cyclone's track, its intensity, storm surge, landfall time and weather associated with it, reported news agency ANI.
Mr Mohapatra said the extremely severe cyclonic storm weakened and moved to Bangladesh at 11:30 PM on Wednesday.
There is currently no impact of the cyclone in West Bengal and it will help the rescue and relief work, he said.
Cyclone Amphan should be declared a national calamity, the CPI(M) demanded on Thursday and said people in West Bengal and Odisha need the support of the Centre.
The extremely severe cyclone Amphan has left several dead and ravaged Kolkata and several parts of West Bengal and Odisha.
"Relief and rehabilitation are priority at the moment. The country and the people are already in the midst of a grim struggle for survival combating the COVID-19 pandemic. People in both states urgently need the support and solidarity of the government and people of the country," the party said in a statement.
"The central government must immediately declare this as a national calamity and substantially help states in facing the impact of this disaster," it said.
India Meteorological Department's prediction regarding cyclone Amphan was accurate. All agencies working on the ground are grateful for it. Damages have been minimized due to the accurate prediction by the IMD, said NDRF Chief SN Pradhan
NDRF teams are operational. We will continue to provide services till states (Odisha & West Bengal) require services that are expected to be required for a longer time in West Bengal: NDRF Chief SN Pradhan pic.twitter.com/G6MvEb4zDQ- ANI (@ANI) May 21, 2020
Operations resume at #KolkataAirport after severe #CyclonicStormAmphan. Effective planning and team work has minimised the effects of Cyclone at the Airport and our teams are working round the clock to ensure uninterrupted services. pic.twitter.com/9L0wviHTTy- Kolkata Airport (@aaikolairport) May 21, 2020
#KolkataAirport springs back to operation from 12 noon today after severe #CyclonAmphan ravaged at wind speed of 130kmph. First flight,a Russian chartered plane landed at 1431 hrs for evacuation of stranded Russian nationals. First departure was SpiceJet cargo flight for Delhi. pic.twitter.com/O0iF69Utll- Kolkata Airport (@aaikolairport) May 21, 2020
The Union Cabinet Secretary held a meeting with the West Bengal & Odisha Chief Secretaries to estimate the damage & response, earlier today. Normalcy will return in the next 24 to 48 hours in Odisha: NDRF Chief SN Pradhan pic.twitter.com/tS0Oxn4JBx- ANI (@ANI) May 21, 2020
72 people have died due to cyclone Amphan, Says Mamata Banerjee.
"West Bengal government has announces a Rs 2 lakh compensation to the families of those killed in Cyclone Amphan," said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, reported news agency PTI.
We are closely monitoring the cyclone Amphan and are in continuous touch with concerned authorities.- Amit Shah (@AmitShah) May 21, 2020
I have also spoken to CM Odisha, Shri Naveen Patnaik ji & CM West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee ji over situation arising due to the cyclone and assured all possible help from centre.
PM @narendramodi's government is committed for the safety and security of every citizen.- Amit Shah (@AmitShah) May 21, 2020
NDRF teams are already on ground to help people in need.
I urge people of West Bengal and Odisha to stay indoor and follow instructions.
Praying for everyone's safety and well being.
My thoughts are with the people of Odisha as the state bravely battles the effects of Cyclone Amphan. Authorities are working on the ground to ensure all possible assistance to the those affected. I pray that the situation normalises at the earliest.- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 21, 2020
Have been seeing visuals from West Bengal on the devastation caused by Cyclone Amphan. In this challenging hour, the entire nation stands in solidarity with West Bengal. Praying for the well-being of the people of the state. Efforts are on to ensure normalcy.- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 21, 2020
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) on Thursday reviewed the rescue and relief operations in cyclone-hit West Bengal and Odisha, where minimal loss of lives was reported due to accurate forecast by the IMD and timely deployment of NDRF troops.
The NCMC, headed by Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba, reviewed the prevailing situation in West Bengal and Odisha with the state and central agencies in the aftermath of cyclone Amphan, reported news agency ANI.
Chief Secretaries of West Bengal and Odisha informed that timely and accurate forecast by Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and advance deployment of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) facilitated in evacuation of about five lakh people in West Bengal and about two lakh in Odisha, an official statement said.
This has resulted in minimal loss of human lives, considering the fact that the intensity of the Amphan was next only to that of the super cyclone that struck Odisha in 1999 causing large scale devastation, it said.
The NDRF is moving additional teams to West Bengal to speed up restoration work, especially in Kolkata.
At least 19 million children in parts of Bangladesh and India are at "imminent risk" from flash flooding and heavy rain due to Cyclone Amphan, the UN's children agency has warned.
The extremely severe cyclonic storm Amphan made a landfall at Digha in West Bengal and Bangladesh on Wednesday, leaving a trail of destruction.
The UNICEF said that at least 19 million children in parts of Bangladesh and India are at "imminent risk from flash flooding, storm surges and heavy rain as Cyclone Amphan makes landfall."
West Bengal, "home to more than 50 million people, including over 16 million children, is expected to take a direct hit from the powerful storm," the UN agency said in a statement on Wednesday.
The UNICEF said it is also very concerned that the COVID-19 could deepen the humanitarian consequences of Cyclone Amphan in both the countries. Evacuees who have moved to crowded temporary shelters would be especially vulnerable to the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19, as well as other infections.
"We continue to monitor the situation closely," said UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia Jean Gough.
"The safety of children and their families in the areas that will be impacted is a priority and it is good to see that the authorities have planned their urgent response factoring in the on-going COVID-19 pandemic."
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba on Thursday reviewed situation in the cyclone-affected areas of Odisha and West Bengal with the States and Central Ministries/Agencies concerned in the aftermath of cyclone Amphan, the Government of India said.
Chief Secretaries of Odisha and West Bengal informed that timely and accurate forecast by India Meteorological Department and advance deployment of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) facilitated in the evacuation of about five lakh people in West Bengal and about two lakh in Odisha, the government informed.
This has resulted in minimal loss of human lives, considering the fact that the intensity of the Amphan was next only to that of the super cyclone that struck Odisha in 1999 causing large scale devastation, it added.
It's a massive challenge for NDRF to carry out restoration work in view of #COVID19. But our teams were semi-prepared for #Amphan as they were preparing for combination of COVID-19& floods. Our personnel observe protocols of social distancing & sanitization: NDRF Chief SN Pradhan pic.twitter.com/4Sa7ucJUUI- ANI (@ANI) May 21, 2020
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) today advised people against going out until government's green signal.
"Only venture out after a cyclone when "all clear" messages are declared by the Government Officials," NDMA wrote on Twitter.
Cyclone Amphan made landfall in the coastal region of Odisha and West Bengal on May 20 and has had an adverse effect on the weather of various parts of the country.
NDMA said that thunderstorm accompanied by lightning and squall is likely over Bihar; with lightning and gusty winds at isolated places over Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and Meghalaya.
Six hours of Cyclone Amphan's wrecking winds left Kolkata airport flooded and many structures within damaged. At least 12 people died in Bengal as winds at 120 km/hour and heavy rain left a trail of devastation."
#CycloneAmphan Updates 21/5/20-- ѕαtчα prαdhαnसत्य नारायण प्रधान ସତ୍ଯପ୍ରଧାନ-DG NDRF (@satyaprad1) May 21, 2020
𝐃𝐀𝐘 1@NDRFHQ @ Restoration Work at Hasnabad, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal#NDRF4U#Committed2Serve#LetsFaceAmphanTogether@NDRFHQ@ndmaindia@PMOIndia@HMOIndia@PIBHomeAffairs@BhallaAjay26@DDNewslive@ANI@airnewsalerts@PTI_Newspic.twitter.com/bapHISmgUJ
Cyclone Amphan has moved north-northeastwards from West Bengal with a speed of 30 kmph during the past 6 hours, currently lays over Bangladesh as a "Cyclonic Storm": India Met Department