More than 5 lakh people have been evacuated in West Bengal and 1,58,640 people in Odisha in view of cyclone Amhpan, said SN Pradhan, chief of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) on Wednesday.
''Landfall has started. We are keeping a close watch because the situation is fast changing. After the landfall, our work in the actual sense starts like recovery and restoration. Commandments of NDRF are camping in Balasore and South 24 Paraganas. 20 teams in Odisha and 19 teams in West Bengal have been deployed. Two teams are on standby. All teams have wireless and satellite communications," Mr Pradhan said in a press briefing.
"State authorities have informed more than 5 lakh people have been evacuated in West Bengal and 1,58,640 people in Odisha," he said.
The NDRF chief said that based on experiences during Cyclone Fani, all teams are equipped with tree cutters and pole cutters for post-landfall restoration if the need arises.
"We are dealing with the cyclone in the context of COVID-19 and perhaps it is the beginning of the new normal. Natural disasters in the coming time will be in the context of COVID-19. 24 additional alert teams are ready for airlift. Road clearing and restoration work has started. The awareness programmes are also going on," he said.
The landfall process of Cyclone Amphan has commenced since 2.30 pm on Wednesday and it will continue for about four hours, said Director of Indian Meteorological Department, Bhubaneswar Centre, HR Biswas.
"The landfall process commenced since 2:30 pm, will continue for about 4 hours. The forward sector of the wall cloud region is entering into land in West Bengal," he said.