The Indian Meteorological Department has issued a cyclone warning for the coastal Indian state of Odisha, West Bengal, and parts of Bangladesh stating that cyclone "AMPHAN" has intensified into an extremely severe storm. With current windspeeds of 130 knots, local weatherman are predicting that it is very likely to become a super cyclone during the day or evening on Monday.
The Indian weather office said in a statement, "The very severe cyclonic storm 'AMPHAN' (pronounced as UM-PUN) over central parts of the South Bay of Bengal moved north-northeastwards with a speed of 13 kmph during past six hours, has intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm".
Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘AMPHAN’ (pronounced as UM-PUN) over west-central & adjoining central parts of South BoB: Cyclone Warning for West Bengal and north Odisha coasts. To intensify further as SuCS. pic.twitter.com/BWnWMTXpBG— India Met. Dept. (@Indiametdept) May 18, 2020
The statement added that "the cyclone is very likely to cross West Bengal – Bangladesh coasts between Digha (West Bengal) and Hatiya Islands (Bangladesh) during the afternoon / evening of 20th May 2020 as a very severe cyclonic storm".
Both Indian states have been put on a "yellow alert" - a warning issued 48 hours prior to the beginning of adverse weather due to cyclonic winds.
Both West Bengal and Odisha have told the media that disaster management teams have been put in place and they are prepared to deal with the situation.
Fishermen have also been issued a warning prohibiting them from venturing into the north Bay of Bengal until Wednesday.
The government of Bangladesh has also ordered to increase the number of shelters to prevent crowding during the pandemic. As per the initial information provided by the state disaster department, 4,071 cyclone shelters are ready but will increase as the government is arranging temporary cyclone shelters to avoid overcrowding.