Touted as the strongest storm ever in the Bay of Bengal, Super Cyclone Amphan has been rated a category 5, with a maximum wind speed of up to 270 kilometres per hour (165 miles per hours) and gusting to 245 miles per hour.
While states are gearing up by taking precautionary measures, the villagers in West Bengal state are safeguarding the coastal areas by building a temporary fence along the coast to reduce the intensity of the cyclone.
Temporary corridors of wooden logs have been erected along the coats by residents of Tajpur in East Medinipur area, expected to be worst affected by the cyclone.
Three coastal districts of East Midinipur (also described as Midnapore), South 24-Parganas and North 24-Parganas are expected to be the worst affected, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD).
India has commenced the evacuation of millions of people, who could be hit by damaging winds, heavy rain and high-intensity waves. Apart from deployment of National Defence Response Force (NDRF) and defence forces, power and telecommunications departments have been directed to take emergency measures to tackle the storm.
#CycloneUpdate#CycloneAmphan is very likely to move northeastwards across northwest #BayOfBengal & cross #WestBengal – #Bangladesh coasts between #Digha (West Bengal) & #HatiyaIslands (#Bangladesh) close to #Sundarbans during the Afternoon / Evening of 20th May @IMDWeather pic.twitter.com/f9p9RXvPoE— NDMA India (@ndmaindia) May 19, 2020
A day after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held an urgent meet with India's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Home Minister Amit Shah also offered the federal government's support to the state chiefs of West Bengal and Odisha.
Amphan would be the second super cyclone to hit the Bay of Bengal. Nearly 15,000 villages were affected and 10,000 people were killed in the last super cyclone in 1999.