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Effects of Cyclone Amphan in India

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Cyclone Amphan
Very severe cyclonic storm (IMD scale)
Category 2 tropical cyclone (SSHWS)
Amphan 2020-05-20 0730Z.jpg
Satellite image of Amphan making landfall on West Bengal on 20 May as a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm.
DurationMay 20 – 21, 2020
Winds3-minute sustained: 155 km/h (100 mph)
1-minute sustained: 155 km/h (100 mph)
Pressure960 hPa (mbar); 28.35 inHg
Damage$13.5 billion
Areas affectedWest Bengal, Odisha, South India
Part of the 2020 North Indian Ocean cyclone season

The effects of Cyclone Amphan in India were extensive and historic. Cyclone Amphan was the costliest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the North Indian Ocean, and the strongest cyclone ever since the 1999 Odisha Cyclone. It was the first storm, and strongest of the historic 2020 North Indian Ocean cyclone season, the costliest recorded cyclone season. It made landfall in West Bengal with 100 mph winds. Within India, the storm killed 98 people, and caused $13.8 billion (2020 USD). Amphan produced extremely high winds that ripped roofs off houses and uprooted trees, and storm surges of 15 ft (4.6 m) in areas like Digha, West Bengal.[1][2]


Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

During 13 May 2020, an area of low pressure developed over the Southeastern Bay of Bengal about 1020 km (635 mi) to the southeast of Visakhapatnam in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.[3][4]

Over the next couple of days, the system became more marked as it gradually consolidated further, with bands of deep atmospheric convection wrapping into the system's low-level center.[5][6] During 16 May, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that the area of low pressure had developed into a depression and designated it as BOB 01 while it was located about 1,100 km (685 mi) to the south of Paradip in the Indian state of Odisha.[7] Moving northwards, the depression continually organized and became a cyclonic storm a few hours later, receiving the name Amphan. Due to conductive environments., Amphan underwent rapid intensification into a severe cyclonic storm, with the JTWC assessing an increase in winds from 140 km/h (85 mph) at 12:00 UTC to 215 km/h (130 mph), the equivalent to a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson scale (SSHWS), just six hours later.[8] Furthermore, the IMD upgraded Amphan to an extremely severe cyclonic storm on their cyclone intensity scale.[9] The broad storm was characterized by a cloud shield extending more than 1,110 km (690 mi) and a sharply-outlined 10 nautical mile-wide eye.[10]

On May 18, the IMD classified Amphan as a Super Cyclonic Storm, with 3-minute sustained winds of 121 mph, reaching it's peak intensity later that day.[11]

Early on May 18, Amphan went through an eyewall replacement cycle.[12] Amphan was on a weakening trend.[13] Around 5:30 p.m. IST (12:00 UTC), Amphan made landfall as a Very Severe Cyclonic storm near Bakkhali, West Bengal with winds of 155 km/h (100 mph).[14] As it moved further inland, Amphan rapidly weakened. Just six hours after landfall, the JTWC downgraded the storm to a Category 1-equivalent cyclone and issued its final warning on the system, as it became disorganized.[15] On 21 May, Amphan dissipated into a well-marked low.


Amphan approaching East India and Bangladesh on 19 May


The government of Odisha directed the magistrates of four districts on 15 May to establish shelter homes for possible evacuees.[16] Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Kumar Tripathy initially identified 403 possible cyclone shelters in areas potentially impacted by Amphan, though 105 served as temporary medical centres for quarantines associated with the concurrent COVID-19 pandemic.[17] Shelters could only be filled to one-third capacity to maintain social distancing guidelines due to the pandemic.[18][19]

West Bengal[edit]

Infrared satellite animation of Amphan rapidly intensifying, an eye has formed over the center
Satellite animation of Amphan rapidly intensifying on 17 May.

Extra shelters have been prepared to allow for social distancing and masks are also being given out.[20] The state asked for schools and other buildings in the areas likely to be affected by the cyclone to be turned into temporary shelters – they need more than the usual numbers in order to house people while still making sure they can follow social distancing.[20]

Social distancing restrictions in West Bengal reduced evacuation capacity in shelters from 500,000 people to 200,000 people.[21] The Kolkata Municipal Corporation located schools and community centres for possible use as temporary shelters to augment evacuation capacity.[22][23] At least 1,704 shelters were ultimately established in Odisha and more than 2,000 were used in West Bengal, including schools and public buildings.[24] The government of West Bengal planned to evacuate 200,000 people from their homes by 18 May;[25] nearly 300,000 people evacuated in total from the state, including 200,000 from North 24 Parganas district and more than 40,000 from Sagar Island.[26][27][28]


West Bengal[edit]

Damage from Cyclone Amphan in Kolkata

According to the state government, 86 people lost their lives in one of the worst cyclones to hit the area since 1737, it was one of the fiercest in recent years, more powerful than Aila and Bulbul in 2009 and 2019 respectively. 300,000 people were evacuated to relief shelters, according to West Bengal’s Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and millions of people are estimated to have been left homeless.[29] Apart from human and livestock casualties, the cyclone has caused severe losses to farmers by destroying their standing crops of paddy, mangoes, lychee when it was a time for harvest. The districts of North 24 Parganas, South 24 Paraganas, East Midnapore, West Midnapore, Nadia and East Burdwan were the worst affected.[30][31]

Burdwan (East) district which is the largest paddy growing district of the state has suffered an estimated of around ₹3 billion (US$ 4,10,78,460.00).[32] According to media reports, the state agriculture minister Ashish Banerjee had indicated that Cyclone Amphan has impacted the farming sector in at least 14 of the 23 districts in West Bengal and the loss incurred may create an all-time record.[32] For mango growers in Murshidabad and Malda districts of West Bengal are no different as the unfavourable climatic conditions coupled with COVID 19 lockdown had already led to severe losses.[32]

The coastal districts recorded an estimated gusts of 180 km/h (110 mph).[33]

In Kolkata, reports of car being overturned, trees uprooted and downed power lines caused into havoc. Some parts of the city remained without power. The streets were waterlogged and trees blocking the roads. Some districts got power in the middle of the night after the storm had passed. The airport was remained shut and became waterlogged, many structural damages were reported.[34] Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee even stated that "a bigger disaster than Covid-19".[35]


Although the state have escaped the worst part of the cyclone, it caused significant impact in the Odisha–West Bengal border districts. It affected 4.5 million people in the state. Due to high gust winds and intense rainfall, districts like Bhadrak and Kendrapara suffered especially for the paddy farmers since the paddy fields became unsuitable for paddy cultivation which was inundated by saline water due to storm surge. According to the Odisha Government, 3 million people remained without power due to power outage and it took a while to return to normalcy whereas the roads were being cleared by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF). In Mahakalapada and Rajanagar, around 500 acres (200 ha) of lands were destroyed also because of saline water ingression and hundreds of acres of rabi crops were destroyed in Balasore and Bhadrak district.[36]

In the Dharma Port, an estimated wind speed of 120 km/h (75 mph) were recorded while Paradip recorded only 100 km/h (60 mph).[37]

South India[edit]

Amphan weakening over Bangladesh as unsettled weather extends into Bhutan

Rains and strong winds from Amphan swept across many districts in Kerala beginning on May 16.[38] Thunderstorms associated with Amphan caused severe coastal erosion in the Valiyathura suburb of Thiruvananthapuram, damaging roads and destroying homes and threatening to displace over a hundred families from their homes.[39] Strong winds inflicted severe damage in Kottayam district, especially in Vaikom taluk, where homes and temples were impacted and trees and electric poles were downed.[40]

A ₹1.47 billion (US$19.3 million) damage toll resulted from the destruction of 16 homes and the partial damage of 313 homes.[41] A high school used as a homeless shelter collapsed, causing minor injuries.[42]

Tamil Nadu faced some impact from the cyclone. Heavy winds damaged at least 100 boats anchored in the Ramanathapuram district.[43] Coastal erosion from rough seas generated by Amphan led to the collapse of three houses at Bommayarpalayam in Viluppuram district.[44] Roughly 35 acres of banana crops around Gandarvakottai and Aranthangi were destroyed.[45] Northern areas of the state have heatwave-like conditions for a week because Amphan took all of the area's moisture.[46]

In Sooradapeta, near Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh, rough seas destroyed 35 homes and damaged several others.[47]


West Bengal[edit]

Prime Minister Narendra Modi making an aerial survey of Cyclone Amphan affected areas of West Bengal on May 22, 2020.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a review meeting after the aerial survey of the Cyclone Amphan affected areas of West Bengal, in Basirhat on May 22, 2020.

On 22 May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted an aerial survey over Kolkata, along with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.[48] Modi announced a ₹10 billion (US$132 million) immediate relief package for West Bengal and ₹5 billion (US$66.2 million) in relief for Odisha.[49][50] In advance, Modi announced that ₹200,000 (US$2,650) would be provided to the next of kin of people who died during the storm, and ₹50,000 (US$660) would be given to each injured person.[49] West Bengal CM Banerjee stated that it would take three to four days to assess the damage.[51] Twenty disaster relief teams were dispatched by the Indian Coast Guard to begin search and rescue operations.[51] Ten teams were sent to West Bengal to aid recovery, in addition to the NDRF teams pre-positioned there before Amphan's passage.[52] Also since most of the water pumps are operated in electricity and due to no electricity, several district suffered from water shortage which caused additional protest.[53] Approximately 1,000 ground teams worked to restore infrastructure and services in West Bengal after Amphan, though only 25–30 percent of workers were staffed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[54] The resulting slow restoration of power sparked protests across West Bengal aimed primarily at electricity company CESC.[55] Some restoration efforts were disrupted by these protests.[56] The Home Department of West Bengal requested additional crews from railway and port interest, while five brigades from the Indian Army were deployed in Kolkata and the 24 Parganas districts to support recovery efforts.[52][55] The government of Odisha sent 500 members of its disaster rapid action force and fire service to West Bengal.[52]

The European Union stated that it would initially provide €500,000 (US$545,000) for those affected by the storm in India.[52]


Additional assistance was requested from Jharkhand and Odisha.[54] Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik performed an aerial survey of the damage in his state following Amphan.[57]

See also[edit]

Other articles of the topics Tropical cyclones AND India : Effects of Cyclone Fani in Odisha

Other articles of the topic Tropical cyclones : Tropical Depression Ten (2005), Tropical Storm Krovanh (2020), Cyclone Josie, Hurricane Norman (2018), Hurricane Florence (2018), List of nicknamed tropical cyclones, Hurricane Karen (2007)

Other articles of the topic India : Tamil language, Deepti Jal Singh, Meet Barot, Uttar Pradesh, Jitendra Verma Jeetu, J P M Group, Josh (2000 film)
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