Bengal on alert as Amphan approaches

Kolkata, May 18 (IANS) With Amphan turning into a super-cyclone, the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government geared up to make necessary arrangements for the cyclonic spell that is expected to make a landfall in the state on Wednesday.

State government sources said that special arrangements have been made by deploying specialised disaster management teams at Sagar Island and Kakdweep in South 24-Parganas district in Bengal.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) has already said that Amphan (pronounced as UM-PUN intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm overnight.

Sources said that at least seven National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed in six West Bengal districts including East Midnapore, West Midnapore, South 24-Parganas, North 24-Parganas, Hooghly and Howrah.

At least 10 NDRF teams are also kept on stand-by as the cyclonic storm is likely to hit the coastal districts with “very heavy rainfall” on Wednesday evening.

Besides West Bengal, a warning has also been issued for Odisha, Sikkim and Meghalaya till Thursday.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked for an emergency meeting on Amphan this evening with representation from West Bengal and its neighbouring Odisha. State Forest Minister Rajib Banerjee also called for a meeting this evening to review all the measures taken to tackle the situation that may arise.



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